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Rolling with the punches: the life of a high school senior

<p>Even in the face of an unusual senior year, Davis Byrd prefers to live in the moment and make the best of each situation.</p>

Even in the face of an unusual senior year, Davis Byrd prefers to live in the moment and make the best of each situation.

What’s 18-year-old Davis Byrd’s idea of a perfect day? He wakes up, grabs some cereal (he claims it’s the best food), plays the video game Overwatch on his Nintendo Switch and hangs out with two of his friends, Aaron and Nathan. Maybe they even play a little bit of soccer. 

Like many kids during these COVID times, Byrd is trying to stay busy.

He started his senior year at Talawanda High School only two months ago. While Byrd technically lives in Hamilton, he still lives close to Oxford in Butler County.

Although he was born in Fairfield, a 30-minute drive from Oxford, he’s grown up in this area almost his whole life.

In school, which is online for the moment, Byrd is involved in drama club, Model U.N. and the varsity boys soccer team. When he’s not doing school work, he works part-time at the Hueston Woods Golf Course cleaning golf carts and picking up golf balls on the driving range.

It was a job his mom, who works in the main office at the course, helped him get. 

Although Byrd’s parents didn’t go to college, he hopes to start applying to schools soon. The three colleges on his list are Miami, the University of Cincinnati and Ohio University. 

Wherever he decides to go, he’ll most likely major in zoology, a decision that was initially influenced by the early 2000’s children’s show “Zoboomafoo,” which taught kids about animals.

“I’ve always been really into animals and stuff, so I figure I can go to college for zoology and hopefully land a job in a zoo somewhere,” Byrd said.

However, his college plans all depend on the success of one thing: Nosebleed, the band that Byrd is a frontman for. 

In addition to being a high school student, playing soccer and working, Byrd also devotes a good portion of his time to playing music. Nosebleed formed five years ago and features four members: a drummer, bassist, guitarist and Byrd on lead vocals. 

The group produces music that is best described as “punk” and features lyrical influences from popular bands such as Weezer and Smashing Pumpkins.

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“My favorite band of all time, no question, is Weezer,” Byrd said. “Weezer is one of my personality traits. I talk about Weezer all the time.” 

In a few months, most likely around wintertime, Nosebleed will release their first EP, hopefully on Spotify. Although there isn’t a name for the EP yet, one of the singles being released soon is called “Q’s Pipeline,” named after the man who used to run Q’s Dungeon, a concert venue in Cincinnati. 

Nosebleed played a show at Q’s Dungeon last December before the place closed its doors. 

It was also at this venue that Byrd and one of his friends, Aaron Wanko, a junior at Talawanda, saw a band named Pierre perform. After the show, Byrd went up and started making conversation with members of the band, telling them he was in a band himself.

“It was really cool because they were this kinda famous band, and he was just talking to them,” Wanko said.

Wanko believes that spontaneity is one of Byrd’s best qualities.

“He usually just kinda does things, and it’s always fun,” Wanko said.

Another one of Byrd’s friends, Nathan Hall, who’s also a senior at Talawanda, defines Byrd by his outgoing personality and energy.

“I know he’s made friends everywhere just from his personality and how open and kind he is to everyone,” Hall said.

Currently, Wanko and Hall are Byrd’s two closest friends. Hall hopes to stay in touch with Byrd once they go off to college, and Wanko has plans to live with Byrd in the future, if they both attend Miami.

But, for the moment, Byrd is just trying to see where life takes him.

“I think more about the moment rather than the future, I guess,” Byrd said.