Sweet Memories of “Stinkin’ Garbage” – 20th Anniversary

Posted On: Thursday, October 8, 2020

Members of the 2000 percussion section take a bow behind their trash cans after their halftime performance

A cool October evening. Eggerss Stadium. Halftime. The Cougar Pride Marching Band. Trash cans. And 22 hobos, ready to take the field.


“Stinkin’ Garbage”, written by Ed Argenziano and intended to be played on – you guessed it – garbage cans, was the percussion section feature played on October 6, 2000. At that time, it was tradition for the percussion section to perform some sort of feature at one of the home halftimes during the season.


Tina Decker, Van Wert City Schools’ percussion teacher, chose “Stinkin’ Garbage” as the 2000 feature after seeing it performed during a convention. “I could envision the whole thing with my students, which is really hard to do sometimes. I knew we had the talent and commitment. We had so many students at that time, and that’s what made it so amazing.”


The group, consisting of four seniors, two juniors, eight sophomores, and eight freshmen practiced an hour and a half two evenings a week for six weeks to prepare for their performance. The first performance was greeted with a standing ovation from both the home and away crowds. It was such a hit with fans, the group took it on the road and played it at the following away game where the host team’s crowd also offered a standing ovation. After a total of five performances, including the State Sendoff for the 2000 VWHS football team, the annual marching band concert, and a home basketball game, the gang retired their trash cans for good.


“The rehearsals and performance of Stinkin’ Garbage still remain as a highlight in my teaching career. When I reminisce about that moment in time and the students involved, I smile every time!”



Members Included


  • Nick Baird
  • Jason Chavarria
  • Ryan Fortney
  • Cassie (Wilkin) Bullock



  • Kristi (Bell) Fuerst
  • Erika (Clark) Kreischer



  • Lisa (Ries) Riffe-Ries
  • Emily Pelton
  • Tim Gamble
  • Mandy Kirkendall
  • Kyle Smith
  • Drew Clay
  • Zach Kreischer
  • Kelly (Matthews) Avalos



  • Amanda (Schumm) Cline
  • Jena (Martin) Wierwille
  • Eric Prichard
  • Dan Edge
  • Kim (McGrath) Wolford
  • Ella (Manken) Stoller
  • Jason Showalter
  • Zach Smart



Watch the Halftime Performance of Stinkin' Garbage



Watch the Marching Band Concert Performance of Stinkin' Garbage





Back to School News      Print News Article