Panther Band members strive to excel in both band and in the pool

Ashley Guel and Maria Mejia, Panther Growls staff members

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Andrew and Will Lanigan, left, and Gabe Kerr pose for a photo before a Lufkin football game. All three are members of both the Panther Band and the Lufkin High School swim team.

Three Panther Band members glide not only on the marching field, but also in the swimming pool.

Gabe Kerr and brothers Will and Andrew Lanigan are active members of both the Lufkin High School band and the LHS swim team.

It is only Gabe and Andrew’s first year of attempting to tackle both activities as freshmen. On the other hand, Andrew’s brother Will, a junior at LHS, has been striving in both for three years now.

Most athletes find it difficult to balance both schoolwork and their sport, but these boys’ passion allows them to go beyond that and include another responsibility in their already filled schedule.

“This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever undertaken,” Will Lanigan said, “and it has never gotten any easier.”

Gabe has been competitively swimming for four years, while brothers Will and Andrew have been swimming for seven years. All three boys have been in band since sixth grade, Will with the trombone and Andrew and Gabe with the trumpet.

Alongside swim and band, the students partake in other activities in and out of school. All three students are in the GT program. Andrew is also in Lufkin Early College High School, while Will and Gabe are both in STEM Academy. Outside of school, Will and Andrew are Boy Scouts, with Will having become an Eagle Scout.

Freshman Andrew said a benefit he has received from being so involved is that he learned to manage his time more effectively.

His brother, Will, said, “Mr. Little, the band director, has always encouraged me, both in band and in life, to make myself better in every way, and to do all things for the glory of God.”

Even though the boys are overloaded with work, whether it be for inside or outside of school, none of the boys regrets doing both swim and band.

“It is actually a lot of fun — especially having friends on the team at school whom I know I can count on,” Kerr said.