SHS grad makes first appearance with SOTS

Published 10:34 am Tuesday, September 3, 2019

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Straughn High School alumna Jessica Aplin’s dreams will come true when she twirls with the Troy University Sound of the South Marching Band, tonight.

Aplin began twirling the baton when she was a freshman at SHS.

“One of my really good friends was a majorette,” Aplin said. “And we were just playing around with the batons in the yard and then I really became interested in it. When I started twirling with the Straughn band, I realized how much I loved it. I loved the feeling and I loved looking out and seeing faces that admired what I was doing.”

During her senior year at Straughn, Aplin took the chance and auditioned for the SOTS, but was heartbroken when she found out she didn’t make the squad.

“I was completely heartbroken,” Aplin said. “It took me a few months to get back into twirling. My mom always told me since I was a kid, to never give up. My dad has actually been sick for a really long time and I knew that he always loved seeing me push and work hard for what I wanted to do. I figured I would try out one more time and if I didn’t make it then it wasn’t meant to be. I knew there was a plan either way.”

Aplin taught baton twirling at The Company Performance Center in Andalusia and found out the news surrounded by her students.

“I just kept refreshing my screen over and over again waiting for the results,” Aplin said. “Finally it came up that I made it. So, I had to run through everyone in the studio to get to my coach, Sabrina Mills, and tears fell from our eyes. It was because we just realized that all of these hours of hard work, injuries and practices were worth it. I looked down at my coach’s daughter, who is six, and she was so proud. She was six, how could she have been excited, but it was the fact that she was looking up to me and I always looked up to her mother. I could not have done any of this without Sabrina.”

Aplin had to go through rigorous training during the SOTS band camp and still practices everyday for their halftime show.

“Band camp lasted seven days and we went from 8 a.m., until 10 p.m.,” Aplin said. “Since then we practice every day, but the band directors are always nice and reward us whenever we do something good. It has all been worth it.”

The main thing that Aplin is looking forward to tonight is getting on the field and twirling to “Fanfare,” the opening song to the SOTS show.

“The sound that the Sound of the South creates when they play that song, the wind just hits you,” Aplin said. “The first time that I heard them play, it brought tears to my eyes.”

Representing Covington County by twirling in the SOTS is a dream come true to Aplin.

“I only know of two majorettes that went on to Troy University to twirl from Covington County,” Aplin said. “I definitely want to come back to Covington County and be able to show people that you can achieve anything you want by hard work.”

Aplin is the daughter of Tony and Patty Aplin.