The Shreveport substitute band had a help cheering the Cats - Tucson News Now

The Shreveport substitute band had a little help cheering on the Cats

A post-game controversy is taking some of the shine off the University of Arizona's big bowl win.

A lot of people are upset the that the "Pride of Arizona" marching band did not attend Monday's AdvoCare V100 Bowl.

A local college band actually substituted in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Our viewers have been sounding off about it on the Tucson News Now Facebook page.

We've learned, however, that the stand-in band did get some specialized instruction in Wildcat ways.

Nobody is officially saying exactly why the "Pride of Arizona" didn't make the trip.

The UA basically rented the marching band from a small Louisiana university to represent the "Pride," but that band really took it to heart.

Just ask the man who volunteered to interrupt his winter vacation with his family in Kansas to drive to Louisiana to teach the band the Wildcat fight songs, the chants and the cheers.

That was "Pride of Arizona" Drum Major Drew Eary.

He helped lead the Louisiana band, even conducting some of the songs and leading some of the cheers.

If you watched the game on television, you saw the band, the Northwestern State University marching band, for just a few seconds during the game.

With the Arizona Wildcats scoring 42 points as they trounced Boston College, the band sure was busy.

They knew what to do, thanks to Eary who helped get them ready for the pep rallies and the game.

Playing at a bowl game is something new for Northwestern State, a small school near Shreveport, but playing at football games is not new for them.

So, at the pep rallies and while Arizona was putting points on the board, Arizona's representatives were doing it all.

Eary, a music education major, says the Northwestern State University band really was into it.

"They learned the Bear Down sequence--the playing Bear Down twice as well as the Arizona chant and the Alma Mater, as well as-- I was there during the game, leading chants, teaching all that stuff. They actually took over a lot in the second half when they really started to get the hang of it." Eary says.

"They played Bear Down after every touchdown. They did--as close to an Arizona home game as possible. So they played Bear Down after every--after a field goal... after every touchdown, periodically through the game, after interceptions. They were also able to learn the short Bear Down so any time anything exciting happened for Arizona we were able to play that."

With a lot more bowl games expected in Arizona's future, many would love to see the "Pride of Arizona" there too.

Arizona Athletics Director Greg Byrne says that is the plan.

He told us, "Our goal has been, and is, to have the 'Pride of Arizona' with us at every bowl game, including the one we just had in Shreveport. That will be the case going forward."

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