BLANHCESTER — The Blanchester Marching Wildcats, a staple in Blanchester Friday night football culture, has had an incredible season this year. The band has worked especially hard, starting Band Camp in July and marching in every parade and football game that Blanchester has to offer.
The band practices every day during school and every other night after school for two hours, ensuring that the show performed each Friday or at each competition, is the best show that the band could perform that week.
Going to four competitions this year, the band knew that there were four possible chances of qualifying for the Ohio Music Education Association State Marching Band Finals. Going to State is a big deal, and it seemed very attainable this year, given all of the hard work put in for weeks on end.
At the first competition in Hamilton, the band earned an Excellent II rating, only a few points away from achieving that Superior I rating. The band then continued to work and went on to perform at OSU’s Ohio Stadium, earning an Excellent II rating once again.
The band was simply sitting on the edge of their seats, hoping and working hard to reach that Superior rating. The band went on to perform in Kettering, and again receiving another Excellent II rating, but the Superior I rating was even closer — the band could practically reach out and touch it.
They only had one more chance to get the rating that they had been working toward since July. The last competition was to take place at Turpin, and the band was bursting with nervousness and excitement. They had wanted the rating that they believed they had earned.
They marched onto the field, warmed up, and it was go time. The band marched the show that they knew. Every last marcher, from the flutes to the drumline, did the best that they could do, hitting every last dot. Then it finally came: Awards time.
The announcer came on, announcing all of the bands that would be going on to compete at the State Finals. And there it was: The Blanchester Marching Wildcats had made it to State Finals.
Every last member, all 51 of them, worked hard, and it finally paid off. Everyone was full of pride.
Mr. Wood couldn’t believe it — all of the long hours before and after school, during the weekend, months in preparation, and there it was. He was so proud of the band and all of the hard work they had put in.
He would have been proud regardless, but the band going to state was just the icing on the cake of this marching season.
Daelyn Staehling is a student at Blanchester High School.