By Dani Palmer
The Herald Bulletin
The preliminary results are in and the Anderson Marching Highlanders are again advancing to the Sweet 16.
The Frankton Marching Eagles and the Elwood Marching Panthers came close, placing 19th and 17th, respectively.
The Lapel Marching Bulldogs also performed, along with 40 other schools from around the state.
“We had a fantastic show this morning,” Anderson Band Director Brad Milleman said. “The kids did a fantastic job. I couldn’t ask more of them.”
Drum Major Connor Oleksy said he left the track with the same feeling he had as a freshman, when the Highlanders placed first in the Sweet 16.
He expects the Highlanders, with the show they have and the run through they did, to place higher than last year’s 8th.
Thankful for the support of parents and friends back home, he said, they “hope to keep delivering.”
The Elwood Marching Panthers, performing “A Man Apart” with a 007 theme, had a lot of new blood this year, with half of the band new marchers. But Director Paula Simmons said they were “balanced and musical” and did a good job.
Having made the Sweet 16 for the first time last year, Simmons said they would have loved to make it again this year.
“Obviously that’s what every band wants...” she said. “Our goal is to get in the top 25.”
The ultimate goal, she added, was to come off that field feeling good. Another goal accomplished.
Frankton Band Director James Handshoe said he felt the kids had a “very good, solid” performance on the track.
The majority of Frankton’s performers are first or second time marchers, a “very young” group, he added, that has next year to look forward to.
“I honestly think we did really well,” said Amanda Kilgore, a Frankton guard member. “Even better than I thought we would.”
Frankton received the auxilary award.
While Lapel didn’t make it into the Top 25, Director Gregory Scott said his philosophy is to entertain the audience.
“We’re not playing for the judges,” said Colton Allen, a Lapel trombone player. “We’re playing for the crowd.”
With lots of dancing and a lovers’ spat acted out by a band member and guard girl, the band seemed to do just that, drawing loud cheers from the audience.
The Sweet 16 competition begins at 8 p.m. in front of the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand.
The Herald Bulletin will continue to update this story.