October 25, 2020

Inaugural ‘Stateline Showdown’ a huge success

The Central of Carrollton Lion Pride won the Grand Championship at the inaugural ‘Stateline Showdown’ this weekend at Heard High School

(Franklin, GA) — A large crowd gathered in Franklin Saturday as Heard County High School and the Marching Braves hosted the first ever marching band competition at Staples Stadium.

The inaugural ‘Stateline Showdown’ featured some of the top high school marching bands from both Georgia and Alabama.

The event featured special performances Saturday evening by the Marching Braves and the Lagrange College Panthers Marching band.

The all-day event was capped off with the awards ceremony as bands were judged and awarded trophies in several different categories such as color guard, band, percussion, drum major, and dance.

The Central of Carrollton Lion Pride took home the overall Grand Championship at the inaugural event, wooing the crowds not only with their music but some very entertaining and elaborate props.

The storied Lion Pride band program earned all superior ratings and class placement awards in every caption. It was the 40th Grand Championship the band has earned.

Finishing in second place overall was an enormous Jackson County band from Jefferson, GA that also competed in the open class with Central. The open class featured bands with 101+ wind players. Other bands were divided in classes from Class A (up to 40 wind players) to Class AAAA (80-100 wind players).

The judges had to make difficult decisions all day long thanks to some talented and entertaining performances by all the competing bands big and small.

The third place trophy in the overall competition went to the Newnan High School band, the Class AAAA winner.

First place in Class A went to First Presbyterian Day. Second place in Class A was awarded to Stratford Academy and third place went to Ranburne High School from Alabama. Class A featured the most bands with six.

In Class AA Mt. Zion placed first followed by Chapel Hill in second place, and Manchester in third. Class AAA saw McIntosh High School finish in first place followed by Cedartown High School.

The elaborate and extensive event required months of planning and an army of volunteers not just from the band family, but from the school and the community as well.

The Heard High athletic department also played a big role with students and volunteers from every sport helping out throughout the day and into the night. Volunteers handled everything from food sales to trash pickup to the logistical challenges of transporting band props and musical equipment to and from the performance areas.

Festival goers were able to enjoy food and other concessions as well as make purchases from vendors located in several areas throughout Staples Stadium. The event serves as an important fundraiser for the band and music program at HHS.

“The contest went off with only minor setbacks that are typical for a first year endeavor. Our volunteers worked hard to make sure everything was taken care of through out the day,” said Marching Brave director Eric Vogel.

“The planning committee spent months getting all of this together. I am incredibly proud of the job they did. The event coordinator, Joy Thompson, had a team of booster parents that helped her put it all together. With her leadership, this contest came to fruition! I’m thankful for all of the volunteers from many parts of the school system and community that played a role in Saturday’s success! I say thank you! I am so proud to work in and for this community! Thank you all for your continued support of Heard County Schools, the Marching Braves and the fine arts in our community!”

The competition organizers received much positive feedback from those in attendance. “ABSOLUTELY the BEST organized first-year contest I have ever seen! You would have thought your crew had been doing this for decades,” said one of the band directors.

The Marching Braves will travel to Central High School this Saturday to compete at one of the most recognized events in the state, The Super Bowl of Sound. The Marching Braves will perform at 2:45 PM in Class A.

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