Ohio State University fans might want to consider responding with "S-E!" when someone yells "O-H!"
Of the 225 members of OSU's marching band, four are Seneca East High School graduates. Lindsey Danhoff, a 2006 graduate, and Josh Senn, a 2009 graduate, had participated in the band previously and are joined this year by John Phillips and Austin Willman, 2010 graduates.
"When I heard their names, I was probably happier than hearing mine," said Senn, recalling the announcement of who had been selected for the band.
Dana Willman, Seneca East's band director for grades 5-12, is Austin's mother. She said having her son in the band means that something as prestigious as being in OSU's marching band can happen to someone from a small town and a small school.
"You just have to work hard and go for your dreams," she said.
Dana said all four OSU students had been in Seneca East's band and described them as outstanding, goal-driven and hardworking.
Austin, a freshman who hasn't settled on a major and plays snare drum, said he joined the OSU band because it is "The Best Damn Band in the Land," and he had a lot of support from his family, pushing him toward joining.
"I didn't really know what to do (when I heard my name)," he said. "I didn't react."
Today is the first day of classes for OSU, but the band already has performed at three football games.
Monday, Austin challenged a second-year student and beat him for the opportunity to march Saturday when the Buckeyes host Eastern Michigan University. It will be his first time marching in the OSU band.
"I'm pretty excited for (the) ramp (entrance)," he said.
Phillips, a freshman with an undecided major, plays trombone in the band and said he decided to audition for the band because he wanted to continue marching band in college. He said he doesn't think there is a better marching band in the state, and it seemed like a good fit.
He said when auditioning, he tried to be confident but didn't know whether he was going to be selected until the last minute.
He has marched in all three games so far
and said he has been having fun.
"It's a blast," he said.
Phillips said if people are thinking about trying out for the band, they should go with their gut feeling.
"It's all worth it," he said.
Senn, a sophomore studying music education with an emphasis on vocal music, plays flugelhorn, which is similar to a trumpet. Last year was his first year in the band, and he opted to audition again.
"I had a really good experience last year," he said.
Senn said he has marched all three games this year and will be marching Saturday. He said last year, he struggled a bit with the music, but is doing better with it this year.
"It's been going really well," he said about the year so far.
Danhoff is a fifth-year senior studying early childhood education and plays the mellophone in the band. She said she will march every game because she is a squad leader.
"It's been exciting," she said about the year so far.
Dana, whose husband is an OSU graduate, said she has been to a couple of games and pre-game warmups called Skull Sessions so far and is proud and excited for all of the Seneca East graduates. She learned a few weeks ago that all had been accepted to perform with the band.
"We were just waiting expectantly for the phone to ring," she said.
Dana said all four students meet together at a certain tree after Skull Sessions. Several Seneca East teachers have gone to games and know to meet them there, which is where they take pictures and talk. It is like they are superstars around Attica and Republic, she said.
"Even elementary teachers remember having them in school," she said.