EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – One local high school band is helping things feel a little bit normal for the Washington State football team when the Cougars take the field Friday morning for the 88th Annual Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl.

The El Dorado High School band is stepping in for the Washington State band and will be playing the university’s fight song after it was announced by WSU athletic director Pat Chun that WSU’s band and cheerleaders would not make the trip to El Paso for the Sun Bowl.

The Sun Bowl Association made the announcement Wednesday.

From that point on, it was all hands on deck for the Aztec band.

“I got a call from my fine arts director and he said that Washington [State] needed a band for the sun bowl game,” said El Dorado High School band director Carl Ortega when recalling the moment the opportunity was presented to his group. “So he asked if I could get a bunch of kids together to do it at the last minute and we were all out of town but I was able to get messages out and grab as many kids as I could to come in and do this for the Sun Bowl.”

This isn’t the first time Ortega has been put through an experience like this. Ortega was with the Horizon High School band in 2016 when they were selected to represent the Stanford Band during their NCAA band suspension season at the Sun Bowl.

The Aztec band has come to the rescue for many of those rooting for Washington State. The Cougar fan base made sure to show their support for the local high school band in the days leading up to kick off.

The Aztecs even got the approval from one Washington State player who will take the field Friday morning.

El Dorado’s band director sent KTSM information for anyone who wants to send donations for the band:

PayPal – edhsband3347@yahoo.com or @EDHS20

El Dorado Band Boosters PO BOX 961193 El Paso TX 79996

You can catch the El Dorado high school band in action at the 88th Annual Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl at 10 a.m. (MT) on Friday, Dec. 31, 2021 at Sun Bowl Stadium with Washington State taking on Central Michigan.