Rival Canton high schools now combined - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Rival Canton high schools now combined

Students tell us they enjoy blending traditions. (Source: WOIO) Students tell us they enjoy blending traditions. (Source: WOIO)
CANTON, OH (WOIO) -

There are a lot of changes for high school students this year in Canton, after McKinley and Timken high schools merged. Now those changes are playing out on the football field. 

Two schools combined means a new football team and a bigger marching band, but students are taking it in stride.

The McKinley Bulldogs played Perry High School Friday night. The visiting players all wore the same uniforms, but last year, some of them were playing for Timken.

The marching band has some extra rhythm this year, as it combines traditions from both schools.

"Definitely a lot of mixing and matching of things. And this year we were able to incorporate a lot of things for McKinley and Timken. And it was really nice because I got to experience the Trojan traditions that I wouldn't have been able to do if we hadn't combined schools," said Shawn Monahan, a band member and McKinley High student.

But that doesn't mean combining the two high schools went smoothly from the start.

"It was hard at first because we thought it was a whole bunch of students losing their school. That was sad. But I feel like it was a great idea and made us bigger, united us more as a whole city, and brought us together more," said band member and student Jessica Jones.

"I don't think it was what people thought it would be at first. It's actually been really fun. It's not crowded. It's actually fine. The classes are great," said Micaelah Morgan Abdul-Ali.

Band director Zachary Taylor tried to make the transition easier on students and parents.

"The biggest thing was bringing two different traditions together. McKinley had their traditions; Timken had their band traditions," Taylor said, explaining the challenge of tradition, such as what songs are played and dances are performed.

It seems like band members are all marching to the same beat.

"I think we've all become one school at this point," said Taylor.

A lot of parents expressed concern about overcrowding and losing the two schools' identity in the merger. But so far, the students we spoke with seem to like the changes.

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