BRADENTON - There's not much crossover between marching band and football; you choose to do one and can't juggle both.

Saxophone section leader and junior Matthew Thomason juggles both. It's his first year marching at Southeast, but he played in other band classes.

"I knew all the seniors that were in the marching band last year and I miss them to death. Aiden and Christian, all of them, I love those guys, they were goons."

Besides a competition last Saturday, he hasn't been able to perform as much as he'd like.

"So far it's been after the games, I'll run up, somebody's got my instrument, waiting for me, I'll grab my instrument, I'll play the fight song, I'll play all that with them. We share a lot of laughs, we do a lot of different things. I really love this band."

He finally performed in a competition last Saturday so despite starting late, he's making it work. Just as another Southeast student started late, though in worse circumstances.

"Maria was very tough," says Miguel Gonzalez, who wasn't even at Southeast two years ago. He was still in Puerto Rico, but Hurricane Maria made landfall.

"It hit real hard to the place I was living in. Basically the main thing would be to us to move on," Gonzalez says.

While he was sad to leave his friends in Puerto Rico, he was adopted right here into the Marching Noles family.

"I already get used to it because it was hard for me to leave my friends, but at the same time it was good for me because I met new people."

And his band director, Andrea Vella is, "like my second mom, because like she always like supports me," he says.

The halftime show Ms. Vella picked this year is close to Miguel's heart. It's based off the movie The Truman Show. The main character, Truman Burbank, realizes he's a star in a reality TV program as things begin to fall apart around him. Everything is fated for him.

"He knows everything is fate, he wants to do something," Gonzalez says, who plays Truman in the performance.

Truman may be an actor, but he's a man, "who just want[s] to be himself. And that's the same thing for me. I just want to dance in the halftime show, show I really like to be at Southeast, and for me to express that is through dancing."

"This year is gonna be one of my saddest year because it's my last year. But at the same time, it was kind of fun. Spending time with these incredible people, how they express themselves through music and dance. An unforgettable experience, I will not forget this," says Gonzalez.