PETERSBURG, TX (KCBD) - Though he was only there a short time, Colin Chichurka made quite an impression on the students, faculty and community of Petersburg.
"The community was already surrounding him and very excited with the direction our band was heading," Superintendent Drew Howard said.
Petersburg is one of three schools its size in the region with a band, and they take great pride in their Buffalo Band.
"Our band program is a big part of our school, a lot of involvement," Howard said.
Community members say they were fortunate to have someone as experienced as Chichurka at their school.
He was formerly a member of the Texas Tech Goin' Band and won many honors throughout his time at Tech. He was also a national award winning Tuba player and senior honor award winner at Tech.
"We didn't have the opportunity to realize the blessing that we were gonna have to its full potential in having him here and being blessed with someone with his talents and his abilities and his experiences and backgrounds," Howard said.
Some of his students remember him as someone who had a work hard play hard attitude. And would never let his students doubt their ability.
"He wouldn't let us say, I can't do this. He always wanted us to believe and know that we could do it," one of his students said.
Chichurka won't be able to see his band perform at their first home game of the season, but the school says it is very important for them to move forward as they know he would have wanted.
Which is why the band will continue with the plans they had for the first game.
"Obviously it's not going to be at the caliber that it would be with Mr. Chichurka here but we're gonna do the best we can to honor him."
The Buffalo Band will also have a few special guests playing with them. Keith Bearden, long time band director for the Goin' Band from Raiderland and several Goin' Band members will be there to play with the students.
"We're looking forward to having the Texas Tech band here and hopefully we'll put together a program that is worthy and honorable for Mr. C," Howard said.
Although the band members will be without their director, the seniors believe Chichurka prepared them well for the leadership role.
"He talked to us a lot and mentioned how he need to become leaders more than followers," said one of the senior band members.
Those at Petersburg ISD hope to continue the legacy Mr. Chichurka started.
"We have a saying around here, once a buffalo, always a buffalo," Howard said.