Archive for Monday, November 2, 2009

Eudora student steps in to help marching band

Kyle Snow pushes Zach Herries on the track around the football field during a Eudora High School band performance before the start of the football game on Oct. 23. Snow’s participation allows Herries, who has cerebral palsy, to perform with the band.

Kyle Snow pushes Zach Herries on the track around the football field during a Eudora High School band performance before the start of the football game on Oct. 23. Snow’s participation allows Herries, who has cerebral palsy, to perform with the band.

November 2, 2009


Bright Spot: Eudora marching band

How two students who didn't know each other met and developed a special friendship as band members. Enlarge video

Kyle Snow marches out onto Laws Field in Eudora on a recent Friday night.

He’s not wearing a band uniform.

He carries no instrument.

He doesn’t make a sound.

But the Eudora High School senior may very well be one of the most instrumental members of the marching band.

“It’s kind of interesting being in the band without having to learn any of the music,” Snow said.

The senior class president, who runs cross country, is a member of the National Honor Society and scored a 35 on his ACT, said he was never really interested in the band.

That all changed when he met sophomore Zach Herries.

“We make a great team, I think,” Snow said.

Herries, a percussionist with the band, has cerebral palsy, which limits his ability to march. It doesn’t affect his ability to play the cowbell, however.

“He has got that thing mastered,” Snow said.

But until recently, Herries, who mainly uses a walker to get around, was stuck playing on the sidelines when the Eudora marching band took the field.

So Snow stepped up and volunteered to push Herries in his wheelchair. Snow spends his fourth hour practicing with the marching band, learning the formations and making sure Herries is exactly where he needs to be at the precise time.

“It’s kind of tough,” he said. “Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with everybody else, but I just do what I can, and it works out.”

Snow gives up his Friday nights to help Herries during the pre-game and half-time shows at Eudora’s home football games. He’s also traveled to a couple of the band’s weekend competitions.

“It’s really generous of him,” EHS Band Director Mac Knight said. “He’s just a great kid who wants to work hard and has taken time out of his day and his weekends to come help us. It’s just a really great experience to have him with us.”

Snow said when the principal first approached him about helping Herries, the two didn’t really know each other. But a bond has grown between the duo during their time participating in band together.

“You could just see the friendship growing,” Zach’s dad, Richard Herries, said. “It was really cool.”

As the two take the field, they move as one unit. Herries makes the music, while Snow handles the marching.

Communication between the two isn’t a problem, even though Herries wears hearing aids, has a cochlear implant and often has a sign language interpreter with him while at school.

“I tell him what to do, and he does it perfect,” Herries said.

Snow’s help has made Herries a true member of the marching band.

“I think he’s more engaged with everyone out there on the field,” Knight said. “He feels like more of a part of the team, and we’re glad that he’s with us, because that’s where he belongs — out on the field with the rest of us.”

And Herries’ parents, watching from the sidelines, agree.

“It’s the greatest feeling in the world to see your kids perform,” Richard Herries said. “It’s really cool because the other kids, they treat him just like another kid, and that’s what he is. He’s just a kid who has difficulty walking, is basically what it boils down to. It’s one of the greatest feelings in the world.”


Dixie Jones 8 years, 7 months ago

Kyle you are a awesome young man ! and Zach you are, always have been and always will be my HERO. Zachs dad and i are friends and attended school together and i have learned through Zach can't is not a word in his vocab. Hats off to Kyle and Zach !

christy kennedy 8 years, 7 months ago

I really didn't need to cry this early in the mornig . . . oh man, what a great story. What great kids!

feetup 8 years, 7 months ago

How awesome! Restores my faith in the youth of today! I'm proud of these two young men and the future they hold. (made me cry too, and theres no crying at work!)

Brent Garner 8 years, 7 months ago

BRAVO!!!!! Somebody give this young man a scholarhip!!!

remember_username 8 years, 7 months ago

Hey, LJW or somebody. How about putting this up on youtube or something so the rest of the country can feel as good I do right now.

concernedeudoravoter 8 years, 7 months ago

Both of these young men are outstanding individuals. I and the rest of our community are so proud of their accomplishments. Thank you Zach and Kyle for all you do.

Emily Campbell 8 years, 7 months ago

Everyone has hit the nail on the head... :) what an awesome story to read about...

walkingonwater 8 years, 7 months ago

This is too awesome - I love this story and echo all of the above.

spammer89 8 years, 7 months ago

Great story still gives you hope for the future.

Mel Briscoe 8 years, 7 months ago

yay!! some GOOD news for this monday. god bless that young man. :)

evilwoman 8 years, 7 months ago

something positive in the news is always great?! ljworld can we get more stories like this?

motomom 8 years, 7 months ago

i was lucky enough to see these boys perform at neewollah this past weekend.....truly inspiring! and Zach i LOVE that cowbell! Thanks to both of you for a simply wonderful story.

Escapee 8 years, 7 months ago

Warms the soul! This is what living the Golden Rule is all about.... Peace.

gowake 8 years, 7 months ago

Had the pleasure to see these guys at Neewollah on Saturday. They work together so flawlessly it could have gone unnoticed in the band's marching routine. But the acts of selflessness and determination did NOT go unnoticed. I expect no sideline will ever hold these 2 guys.

cntrygrl 8 years, 7 months ago

I am so touched by this story! I was in marching band in both high school and college and I know how difficult it can be.

I do wish that the school had done something like this prior. Zach deserves to be a complete member of the band!! The cowbell can be very important - especially with marching band music!!

Kyle - Please tell your parents thank you for raising a young man of integrity. We don't see enough young adults like you.

May God Bless you both!!!

sourpuss 8 years, 7 months ago

Great story!

Also, the Eudora band has exactly the same style of uniforms we wore at LHS in the early 90s.

begin60 8 years, 7 months ago

I hope stories like this don't encourage even more clueless hordes of insulting strangers to approach people they don't know on the public streets to offensively offer "help."This is guerilla warfare on a so-called protected class You are crossing a wrongful, harassing line when you bother strangers on the basis of these stereotypes.The "I'm o.k., you need help" attitude toward other human beings needs to be outlawed.You are most certainly not treating an individual just like any other self-determining person when you feel so presumptuously free to violate their personal boundaries on the pubic sidewalks by asking rude questions or physically interfering with them. Impossibility thinking never helped anyone, and too many local bigots are making proudly independent people reasonably fear for their safety in public. To me, stories like this promulgate offensive stereotypes about the needy, dependent nature of some and the heroic, capable nature of others. This is a very prejudiced and self-serving, culturally imperialist attitude and an offensive, disabling set of attitudes that holds way more people than it helps. Shame on you LJ World for your complete backward complicity with unsophisticated cultural norms. People who are so touched by this story--does it play well with your own egotistic need to see yourself in a positive light for being a busybody?

Brent Garner 8 years, 7 months ago

begin60: Are you ok? I realize some folks march to a different drummer but you are way outta line here guy!

begin60 8 years, 7 months ago

What's o.k. for Zack and his family and friends is all good and fine with me too--but remember this story involves classmates not kinky, nosy strangers bothering others on the streets and interfering with their unmolested enjoyment of public space-- implicitly their basic rights to work, study and develop their potential free from discrimination.

I'm only commenting on the fact it's harassing and against the law to get up in people's business in public on the basis of perceived protected-class characteristics. We are taliking the law!! I trust you respect the law Brent Garner; I trust you respect equal rights. It's not o.k. to approach strangers in public on the basis of stereotypes. A new hate crime law just went into effect. It's wrong to invade people's privacy and step on their dignity. Some people have such a self-flattering take on what counts as help for other people-- but it'certainly not stalking and harassing strangers on the basis of stereotypes. Sorry, but such behavior interferes with equal rights, and it is despicably ubiquitous in this part of the country.. If you are really so caring and benevolent join a volunteer organization, but don't bother strangers off the street.No one wants to be accused of harassment and bigotry, do they?If you believe in getting up in strangers' business, Brent,I hate to be the one to tell you: you are not o.k. There should be no need to justify one's choice of marching bands with complete strangers. The topic just doesn't come up among decent, sensitive people.

Sharon Aikins 8 years, 7 months ago

There's a difference between justifying and sharing. Get over yourself, begin60. I'm disabled and perfectly able to take care of myself and if anyone asks, I don't get in their face. Sometimes sharing brings about the result you seem to want. You have a very deep-seated anger here, wonder why? But then, I'm not asking, no way.

I personally find this a wonderful, touching story about two young men. There should be more like them in this world.

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