Five area schools going to Marching Band State Finals - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Five area schools going to Marching Band State Finals

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It's the second week of football sectionals in Indiana.  But that's not the only exciting thing happening on a football field this week.  Hundreds of local students are heading to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to compete in the State Marching Band Finals on Saturday.

Five High School bands from Michiana are the best of the best this year: Goshen, Plymouth, Concord, Fairfield, and NorthWood.  Friday night we stopped by NorthWood's final practice before the competition and joined the community in sending them off.

After the practice, Band Director Eric Criss said, "We're ready to go, it's an exciting time, we've put in all our practice and we're just ready to go do it."

Criss said the group was the underdog last year at State since they hadn't competed at the competition in years.  "Last year was the first for everyone except three students."

This year, most of the students have already done this so it should be easier, right?  Wrong.  The group said there's fierce competition in the marching band world. 

"A lot of other class C bands have stepped up and have really given us a run for our money.  It's been a pretty big battle all year," said Senior James Cobb.  And in response to that, the red regiment stepped up their game too. 

Junior Adam Mast said, "This was the hardest year I've been in Marching band out of the four years I've been here." 

Cobb added, "We've put hours and hours in, two hours after school everyday, three hours on Mondays."

Not only are they putting in more work, the routine is harder too.  Drum Major Katie Yoder said, "It just takes a lot more effort and attitude and energy to get through it."

But they have the support of the community to get them through it.  The band had a large send off Friday night as they left for Indy.  Police, ambulance, and a fire truck escorted them down SR 19 with lights and sirens blaring.  Fans were also there to cheer them on, some even holding signs that read, "Good Luck!"

Saturday you can check the results from the Marching Band State Finals here and here.

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