NCHS Drumline participates in second annual drumlympics

Fun group activities help to make the drumline into not just a team but a family.


Jillian Wallace

Working together : Drumlympics team members Nick Vincent (11) and Alex Bryan (10) work together to stack the bass drum cases as quickly as possible in the bass case stacking event at the 2019 Drumlympics.

Abby Gruner, Editor

Jillian Wallace
Working together :
Drumlympics team members Nick Vincent (11) and Alex Bryan (10) work together to stack the bass drum cases as quickly as possible. It is essential that team members work together in this event just as it is essential for the drumline to work together to produce the best sound possible.

On August 29, 2019 the NCHS drumline members gathered in the Dick Cheney Memorial stadium to participate in the second annual Drumlympics. The so-called “Drumlympics” contain events specific to the drumline such as a drumstick relay, squatting with a drum on, and cymbal rolling. Where did this event come from? Drum Sergeant, Gabe DeGraeve (12), said that during the 2017-18 school year he and a former member of the drumline joked about having such an event, and he decided to make it a reality the summer of 2018. The event was such a success DeGraeve put it on again this year.


The Drumlympics began with the opening ceremonies where Brenden Licursi, who is more commonly referred to as “Patches,” ran around the track holding a drumstick with the Olympic anthem playing. Then, the participants were put into teams of three by DeGraeve. This year the teams were assigned in order to help the new and old members of the drumline get to know each other better. 

Jillian Wallace
Showing off his throwing skills:
Brenden Licursi (12) or as the drumline calls him “Patches” attempts to throw a drum stick as far as possible. Licursi is known within the drumline to be a very valuable teammate for the Drumlympics.

Each event was judged by DeGraeve and the 2019-20 Drum Majors Anastasia Zettl (11), Jack Robataille (12), and Gavin Guerrera (11). The first event was the drumstick relay. For this event the football field was split into three legs with a member of each team at the starting points of the three legs. The team members then passed the drumstick to their teammates when they reached each of the starting points. The team whose third leg member reached the end zone first won. 

Jillian Wallace
Kicking off the 2019 Drumlympics: NCHS drumline members participate in the first event of the 2019 Drumlympics: the drumstick relay.

Many events followed; a favorite of the participants, including Degraeve, was cymbal rolling. Each team got six chances to roll a cymbal as far as possible. The challenge with cymbal rolling was that the cymbals tended to curve and change course suddenly. Robataille’s leg was cut by a cymbal thrown by freshman Brody Haskins that suddenly veered off course. Even so, Robataille said he didn’t regret attending the 2019 Drumlympics.

Jillian Wallace:
Hoping for a straight path to the podium: Freshman Kai Wolz rolls a cymbal in the cymbal rolling competition. Cymbal rolling is an event favored by many of the participants.

One event, bass case stacking, required two members of a team to work together to stack all eight bass drum cases on top of each other as quickly as possible. Even while standing on two large tires stacked on top of each other, the competitors found it difficult to place the last case because of how tall the stack was. The teams earned points depending on the quality of their stacks, and these points were subtracted from their times. The team with the quickest time after points were subtracted won.

Other events included squatting with a drum on, quad rows (lifting a tenor or quad drum), stick throwing, running with a drum on and drum assembly. 

Jillian Wallace:
The final case: Alex Bryan (10) reaches to stack the final case for his team at the 2019 Drumlympics. Bryan must use all of his height and stand on two tires to reach the top of the stack.

The final event, lettuce eating, was a surprise event DeGraeve decided to add this year. In order to win a team must eat an entire head of lettuce. Freshman Kolbe Zettl ate an entire lettuce head by himself and took the win for his team.

Jillian Wallace
Getting the greenies: Maxton McCullough (9), Kolbe Zettl (9), Kai Wolz (9), Brody Haskins (9), and Mason Napier (9) attempt to eat an entire head of lettuce in the lettuce eating competition. Many of these freshmen jokingly remarked they may never eat lettuce again after this experience.

Throughout the whole event, the participants were able to enjoy pizza, popsicles, pop and water. The popsicles were especially enjoyed because of the high temperatures. After all the events were completed, the drum majors and DeGraeve presented the awards for each of the events. Participants won trophies for first through third for each event. 

The Drumlympics are a great opportunity for the drumline to bond before the school year starts. DeGraeve said, “the reason we do it (Drumplympics) at the beginning of the year as opposed to near the end is to give a chance for the new freshmen-and even the upperclassmen-to get a chance to know and meet each other and work together.” 

Haskins (9) agreed that is was a little scary to join the drumline at first without knowing the upper classmen, and that the Drumlympics helped him feel more comfortable in the group. When asked if he is looking forward to future Drumlympics Haskins said, “yes, but I don’t think it will be as fun without the seniors.” 

Drumlympics is likely going to be a tradition enjoyed by the NCHS drumline for many years to come.