Mayfield graduate leads Aux squad

Before the start of the varsity football home opener against Buchtel, the Auxiliary team surrounds their head coach, Kayleigh Becker.

Megan Linsky

Before the start of the varsity football home opener against Buchtel, the Auxiliary team surrounds their head coach, Kayleigh Becker.

Sarah Carlile, Staff Writer

The 2021-2022 Auxiliary team welcomed Coach Kayleigh Becker into her first “normal” coaching season this past fall.

While Becker officially took over the position during the 2020-2021 season, her duties were restricted due to the pandemic, and she had to reform her expectations for the team as a result. She said, “During COVID, we were just trying to get something on the field and make sure everyone was doing alright; while this year, the goal shifted to add additional routines, become better performers, and become a group within the band.”

This past season, however, keeping the team safe was easier as the world began to better understand COVID. Becker, a Mayfield alumna, said, “We were able to hold regular rehearsals indoors and go to away games this year as protocols had shifted making that permissible.”

Senior Allison Wank, a three-year Auxiliary veteran, didn’t really count Coach Becker’s first year as her first normal season. She said, “This being her first year traveling, changing numbers last minute, and coming up with dances in weeks like we have to do during normal seasons – it was a really big jump. So, I considered [the 2020-2021 season] like her practice run, almost – and she did great!”

While Wank was adamant that Becker had a great first normal season, Wank thinks Becker will further grow into the position. She said, “She was a dance coach and she was on the team [before], so it’s not like everything is brand new – but a lot’s changed. She graduated in 2014 and it’s very much not 2014 anymore. So, she kind of had to adapt to our nuances and tendencies.”

Countering the irregularity of her debut season, Becker was relieved to have more consistency and reliability for her first normal season this year when it came to scheduling. Becker said, “Knowing when we would be able to have practices and when we’d be performing was amazing. Additionally, being able to work with the whole band on a regular basis was very uplifting!”

Senior Madison Ferrell, a four-year Auxiliary veteran, praised Becker on her management this season. She said, “The last season was harder just because we barely even had practice and it was hard to see her… and I mean, no one really knew her because of that. So, I didn’t really realize just how capable she was to handle the team.”

Wank most appreciated Becker’s understanding this season. Wank said, “She was a really good listener and was very much willing to help us with things outside of dance. With COVID and everything, we never really got that. This year we actually got to know and learn more about her, actually talk with her, and almost become friends.”

Becker states that her love for coaching the Auxiliary team stems from her background in dance, appreciating the different places Auxiliary holds in the dance world. She said, “I love working with students and marching band because the “stakes” are different. Auxiliary really allows me to just have fun, [and] I also just love collaborating with the band directors and solving different challenges!”

Becker’s initial nervousness towards the coaching position during COVID has changed over the last season. She said, “Now, I really feel like we have a great band staff and I know what I need to do to help the squad be successful!”