Toledo area native tunes up for big gameWritten by Lori Golaszewski | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Screptock will be on the field when Ohio State squares off against Michigan on Nov. 21.
But the Toledo area native isn’t on the football team. He’s finishing his final season playing baritone for OSU’s marching band.
Screptock, a Springfield High School graduate, is a fifth-year student at Ohio State and a squad leader in the band.
Performing at the OSU-Michigan game is not only fun, he said, but it’s also “a big honor, because not everyone in our band marches.”
There are 225 members in the marching band, Screptock noted, but only 192 of them actually march in a game.
“We have challenges for every game and that challenge for OSU-Michigan is usually the biggest for the season because it determines who marches in the game,” he said.
“When we play at the U of M stadium, it’s nothing but booing, so you want to do your best in front of their crowd. It’s more of a pride thing than anything,” he said.
One of Screptock’s “best and most exciting games” was the 2006 Ohio State-Michigan game.
“That was the year [Ohio State quarterback] Troy Smith won the Heisman Trophy,” he said. “Ohio State was ranked No. 1; Michigan was No. 2.
“The next best game was when we went to Texas in 2006 and beat them at home. The primetime games are fun because of all the excitement.”
Screptock didn’t always play the baritone. He started playing the trombone in fifth grade, then switched to the trumpet mid-year. He played that until his junior year in high school, then took up the baritone, which has been his instrument of choice ever since. He performed in the Springfield High School marching band and wanted to continue the experience in college.
“I knew I wanted to do marching band at the college level, and part of the reason I went to Ohio State is because I knew they had a good band,” he said. “I knew their reputation was good.”
During the summer, Screptock had an opportunity to teach sessions on the fundamentals of marching for incoming freshmen and high school students.
“I was in charge of the marching half and there were three students under me to teach everyone our marching fundamentals. Our movements focus on precision and snap and there’s a lot of attention to detail in our movements. We’re pretty in sync with each other and we pride ourselves on being a precise band because our roots are from the military. We’re evolved from an ROTC band; that’s how we started at the university.”
Screptock said he anticipates mixed emotions when he finishes his last season with the band, but knows the time has come to move on.
“I’m sure I’ll be sad once it’s all said and done,” he said. “But being a fifth-year member, my body is feeling older than it used to feel, and it’s a little more easily ached and pained. I’m ready for this to be my last season.”