It was probably the first time in drumline history.

It was unbelievable- especially at McGuire High School. It was the absolute best thing a band director could do to a group of twelve drummers. It was somewhat unheard of, as they are usually the root of all problems (especially if they weren't). It was something crazy and wonderful and mind-blowing: the band director complimented them. At McGuire High School. For something that they'd played.

This was odd for two reasons: one being the fact that any drumline anywhere probably gets blamed a lot for timing, footing, posture, playing too loudly…

But the second reason was that it was at McGuire High School. Other bands around Texas had good bands with good drumlines and such, but McGuire High was always infamous for not being the best. And that showed through everything- even their football team who hadn't won a game since Homecoming of 1979.

"This is the best drumline I've ever had. That was the best I've ever heard that played, don't you agree, band?" Stephen Locke, the aforementioned band director had asked during a scorching-hot afternoon practice in the school's practice field in Houston.

Then they spent the next twenty minutes going over the same set about forty times. But hey, it was a compliment: something so rare to drumlines that it was something to be praised; cherished (which is pretty sad actually, but that's life I guess). And the compliment, naturally, went straight to the drum captain, the heartbeat of the band. His name was Jason Downs.