Senior profile: Tom Florent

Back to Article
Back to Article

Senior profile: Tom Florent

November 2007, the No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks football team was undefeated. Kansas was riding sophomore quarterback Todd Reesing and six-year head coach Mark Mangino. The Jayhawks’ hopes of a perfect season for the first time since 1908 were thwarted when its rival No. 4 Missouri beat KU 36-28 in the annual Border War at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. Ever since, Tom Florent knew he wanted to be a Jayhawk.

“Mizzou won, and I was like, ‘Aww, sad. Kansas was better,’” Tom said. “I’m not sure why, but I found it really fun to root for the team everyone hated.”

This fall, Tom will attend the University of Kansas, where he will study architecture and continue participating in band. He will go from being drum major to playing saxophone for the KU marching band.

“I think it might be a little bit of culture shock to go from the highest point to the lowest point again, but I think that’s natural, and I think it’ll be a lot of fun,” Tom said.

At KHS Friday night football games, Tom led the largest high school marching band in the St. Louis metropolitan area, with over 200 members. Susan Florent, Tom’s mother, said she has enjoyed watching her son and believes Tom’s leadership qualities and enthusiasm have brought out the best in the band.

“The last two years have been a blast,” Susan said. “There’s really something neat about being a parent and knowing other people are watching him and seeing he’s having such a good time. And I think it’s sort of infectious. When he’s having such a good time, I think often the other band members are having a great time.”

Tom has been in the Kirkwood band program since fourth grade. He said it will be hard leaving those he has come to know over the years through one of his greatest passions.

“I’m definitely going to miss the football games, the directors and the music, but the thing that makes the band the band are the people,” Tom said. “You go through the marching band experience, and you get to know everyone. You dance together, and you have pizza together, and you ride out the storms in Keating Theatre together. There are so many characters in the band, and I won’t have that at Kansas.”