COLUMBUS - Two graduates of Indian Creek High School will be among the marching band members on the Ohio Stadium field today when Ohio State closes out its 2012 season with the annual contest against its archrival, Michigan.
Marco Schaefer of Bloomingdale, a trombonist and junior at Ohio State, along with Matt Argentine, a Wintersville native, senior at OSU and trumpet player, will join the rest of the members of "The Best Damn Band in the Land" for pre-game and halftime celebrations, according to Rose Angelica, member of the OSU Alumni Marching Band and local music educator.
"They were in the Indian Creek High School Marching Band, and I worked with them over the years," said Angelica, herself a former Mingo High School band director. "They will be marching today on TV during the Michigan-Ohio State game in Columbus.
ON THE FIELD — Two local residents, including Marco Schaefer of Bloomingdale, left, and Matt Argentine of Wintersville will be marching with the Ohio State Marching Band during the annual football showdown between Michigan and Ohio State, which begins today at noon and will be broadcast locally on WTAE-TV and ABC Ohio Valley. Mingo Junction resident and local music educator Rose Angelica marched with the two young men when the OSU Marching Band combined with the Ohio State University Alumni Marching Band in September to create a “super band” with more than 1,000 members. -- Contributed
"It's the biggest game of the year - always has been," continued Angelica. "(The Buckeyes football team) is undefeated this year, so it's especially important."
Ohio State will be looking to complete a 12-0 season today when it takes on the Wolverines, 8-3, in a noon kickoff in Columbus. A win by the Buckeyes would give them their sixth undefeated, untied season in the their 123 years of playing football. The Buckeyes will be looking to avenge last season's 40-34 loss to Michigan.
Today's game will be the 109th meeting and 95th consecutive year the teams have played. Michigan holds a 58-43-6 edge in the series, but Ohio State has won eight of the last 10 games. Michigan has spoiled undefeated seasons for Ohio State in 1969, 1973, 1993, 1995 and 1996.
No matter what happens today, the game will be the last of the first season under coach Urban Meyer. Ohio State is on NCAA probation and is not eligible for post-season play, despite having clinched the championship of the Big Ten's Leaders Division.
Angelica said she previously marched with the two young musicians in Columbus during alumni weekend in September, when the the OSU Marching Band joined the OSU Alumni Marching Band to create a "super band" of more than 1,000 members.
"There were a 1,000 band members on the field (during the alumni event)," Angelica said, adding the super band included more than 200 drummers. "It's all brass and drums. It's incredibly loud. It sounded like thunder when all the (drummers hit)."
Angelica said she gave both music lessons before they attended OSU, preparing them to try out for one of the most elite marching bands in the nation.
"For 35 years I've been working with kids from the Valley to get them into the OSU band," she said, adding the OSU band only accepts the cream of the crop. "It's like the Marine Corps. You have to be fit and work out to be able to play and march at the same time. You also have to be a very proficient player. To do all those steps and keep playing you really have to be in shape."
Schaefer played clarinet in high school, and "taught himself how to play with just a few lessons," Angelica said. "He did it all on his own. He's a pretty sharp kid. To be able to make the (OSU) band and only been playing (trombone) for a few years - that's impressive."
Angelica said marching onto Ohio Stadium with a full house is an intimidating experience.
"You come out of the (stadium) tunnel onto the ramp entrance and hear 100,000 people screaming fans," she said. "It scares the crap out of you. It's a rush, too - the biggest rush of your life. No one knows what that's like except for a band member."
For his part, Schaefer said he's ready and willing for the experience.
"Yes, I feel pretty ready for it," he said, adding the band has been busy practicing routines all week. "We've had about a week-and-a-half for preparation."
Schaefer also confirmed he taught himself his chosen instrument.
"I marched in the Indian Creek Band, and I played baritone (trombone)," he said. "Later on I switched to a slide trombone, and I taught myself that as well."
The game will be broadcast locally on WTAE-TV and ABC Ohio Valley.