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Cameron Osceola hits more than musical notes

Cameron Osceola PLANTATION — High school football teams and marching bands play on the same fields, but seldom at the same time.

Cameron Osceola is an exception.

Cameron is an offensive guard on American Heritage School’s junior varsity football team in Plantation, and he is a clarinetist in the band.

“I like them both,” the 10th-grader said. “I want to continue to do both.”

Cameron’s music education started with the recorder in fourth grade and led to the clarinet, which he said suits him. He’s been a band member since sixth grade and is in his second year in the marching band. He began playing football in sixth grade and enjoys being part of the JV team, which went undefeated last year.

“I like to win,” he said. “Everybody has a certain assignment to do and when we win, it feels good.”

Coach Juan Laureano, who has worked with Cameron for two years, said he likes the passion he brings to the field.

“He works harder than anyone else on the team and he does it with a smile,” Laureano said. “He has had to miss some practice because of band camp, but he’s doing what he loves. I’m proud of what he’s been able to accomplish.”

Cameron spent a good portion of the summer at football workouts and band camp. He said learning the choreography of the marching band while simultaneously playing music is the most difficult part about band.

“But seeing the final product is rewarding,” he said.

Heritage band director Kimberly Imerbsin respects Cameron’s ability to balance his activities.

“He’s a hard worker and a solid player,” said Imerbsin, who directs 86 band members. “He’s an active member of our program even though he is splitting his time.”

Cameron’s mother, Melissa Billie, knows how much time and effort her son puts into playing football and clarinet. She made sure he has a tutor to help him keep up with his schoolwork.

“I think it’s good, but it’s rough,” she said. “He’s there until 8 some nights. He has a game on Thursdays and marching band on Fridays. I love that he’s doing both, but it’s a lot.”

If Cameron plays for the varsity football team next year, he may need to give up his double-duty roles. He doesn’t know which way he’s leaning at this point.

“I want to do both, but I know by the end of the school year I’ll have to make a decision,” he said.

Imerbsin thinks he will be able to do both.

“He can play football and perform during halftime,” she said. “It’s possible to do both. He can march with us in his football uniform, as long as he’s happy.”

Laureano wants Cameron to follow his heart.

“It will come down to what he truly loves,” Laureano said. “He has to go with his gut feeling, his passion.”


Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at