Pride of Shelby County Receives First Division

Blane Agnew

Lena Amburn, Opinion Editor

The Center High School Marching Band earned a first division from all judges at the UIL Marching Competition at Stephen F. Austin State University on October 20, 2018.

“It felt really amazing [earning a first division],” senior Miriam Almaguer said. “I really did not want to cry because I knew if I did, I wouldn’t be able to stop. I was beyond happy.”

The band earned a first division on their performance, which is the best rating that can be given. They were also awarded a trophy to add to the collection, making this the eighth one in a row.

“I’ll be honest, I did not know that we had seven trophies until this year,” junior Ellie Walker said. “Hearing Mr. Smith say, ‘Let’s go for an eighth trophy!’ made my head turn for sure. Nevertheless, the fact that we have eight trophies in a row is majorly impressive to me, as well as fans of the band.”

While the performance was one of the best that the band has had, there was a lot of behind-the-scenes work that took place to make sure that everything worked out at UIL.

“There was a lot of work put into the performance. We started rehearsal and learning drill at the beginning of August,” Sophomore Kristen Orsak said. “We had practice every Monday and began having practice every Monday and Tuesday about a month ago. We put many long hours of work on this performance, and it paid off.”

I have always wanted him to know that I am proud of him and his work. ”

The band put in a lot of hard work with memorizing the four songs they played, remembering when to turn and countermarch, and the long practices. However, most people usually forget who the backbone of the band is.

“Mr. Smith has literally helped us through everything,” Almaguer said. “He may not see it, but I have always wanted him to know that I am proud of him and his work. He is always staying and waiting for us to get rides after practice, offering to help students better their marching after school in the band hall, fixing our mistakes, and teaching us the proper playing style. I know handling over 200 students at one time can be a lot, so I want him to know that we appreciate him and his dedication to this band, so thank you.”

The wait to hear the ratings announced placed a fog of suspense over Homer Bryce Stadium and all of the 4A bands. Center was one of the last bands to march in the 4A division, so the score for their performance was one of the last to be said. Despite the amazing performance given by the band students, some were incredibly nervous.

“We were second to last, and I was shaking while waiting for the ratings,” Walker said. “It felt like an eternity after they said the name ‘Center’ before announcing the rating, but after they did, I was jumping out of my seat.”

The next competition that the band is facing is held by the National Association of Military Marching Bands (NAMMB) on November 3rd at Homer Bryce Stadium.