YPS board chief brags on Pride of Yukon

Rivera-directed, booster-backed band excels at competitions

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Leonard Wells

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Count Leonard Wells among Yukon’s most enthusiastic band boosters.

Wells, president of Yukon Public Schools’ Board of Education, spoke glowingly about the high-achieving Pride of Yukon at November’s monthly board meeting.

Wells and other YPS officials bragged on the Yukon marching band for reaching the finals at the Bands of America’s Super Regional in St. Louis, Mo. This marked the first time the Millers competed.

“It was a real good event for the kids,” Wells said. “They were excited as could be to make finals.”

Sixty-two bands from 10 states competed at the Super Regional. Five bands were from Oklahoma, with Broken Arrow winning the St. Louis competition for a second straight year.

The Pride of Yukon finished its competitive season ninth overall at the Oklahoma Bandmasters Association’s 6A state competition on Oct. 29 in Broken Arrow.

Just four days earlier, the band earned the highest score possible at the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association’s West Regional at Miller Stadium.

Yukon’s band students spend long hours on many early mornings and evenings practicing and preparing for their competitions, Wells noted.

“The kids are the ones that work really hard, and we have to give credit to Mr. (James) Rivera and the rest of his directors in working with the kids … they put in a lot of time to help the kids succeed.”

Wells further credited the many volunteers who support Yukon’s highly acclaimed band program.

“I got to commit some extra time this year to help with the boosters,” he related. “It was eye-opening to see how much work and effort goes into these competitions.

“There’s a ton of stuff that has to happen for those kids to perform.”

During marching season, the Yukon Band Boosters have several volunteer groups – including the pit crew, prop crew and campsite crew.

And throughout the year, volunteers work concessions stands to support the Pride of Yukon.

Yukon’s school board chief has served with many organizations over the years.

“I can tell you our band boosters are one of the best I’ve ever worked with,” Wells concluded.

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WHAT A STADIUM!

YPS Board of Education Member Chris Cunningham also did some bragging at the November’s board meeting, this time on Miller Stadium.

Cunningham spoke about how Yukon has such a wonderful competition venue on the YHS campus, 1777 S Yukon Parkway.

“I visit quite a few stadiums during the course of the year, and it really is a nice stadium,” he said. “I just wanted to say ‘thank you’ to those people who take care of it. They do a great job.

“I really enjoy anytime I get a chance to see a game there.”

Members of Boy Scout Troop 807 from the First United Methodist Church presented the flag ceremony for Monday night’s meeting.

They are working on their Citizenship in the Community merit badge.

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