DUPONT — After another long season of marching band, it all came to a close for the Charger Pride Nov. 3. Carroll performed its 2018 show, “In the Glass,” for the final time at the State Marching Band Finals at Lucas Oil Stadium.
“When you qualify for state, you know going into it that this is it, so there’s kind of an emotional build up,” Director Doug Hassell said. “Part of it is just performing at state, but I think the other part is when the kids know it’s their last time together, there’s obviously the emotional payoff of the performance. There’s a really big release because you realize that was it and you’re done. And, to be on that field, it’s such a grand stage for them to finish on.”
The Charger Pride has qualified for state five of the last six years, taking 10th place in 2013, 2014 and 2016, and ninth place last year. This time around, they took eighth in Class A.
“We were ecstatic for a number of reasons,” Hassell said. “First of all, it was a great performance, and they knew it was a good performance to cap a great season. I told the performers before the show that I was incredibly proud of them because I knew they were going to be great, and then to have a performance that was that strong and to have the judging put us at the highest finish we’ve had in Class A, we were very happy.”
Six Allen County schools competed during the state finals, with 10 teams placing in each class. Homestead was fourth in Class A, while Carmel took the crown. Greenwood was first in Class B, Edgewood won Class C and Forest Park won Class D.
“All of the groups there are just incredible, and it’s very humbling to be a part of it,” Hassell said. “And, to come out a little higher than we have in the past, that’s the icing on the cake. It was really a great end to a fantastic season.”
The Charger pride comprised more than 190 members this year.
“We challenged them in ways we’ve never challenged another group before,” Hassell said. “The great thing about working with high school kids is they will meet the challenge if you present it, and they’ve done that. We stretched them in terms of what we tried to do musically and physically — things that were very, very difficult — and when you first start, those things are pretty tough. … Over the course of time they just kept getting better at it, and pretty soon you’re not trying, you’re executing and then you start performing. When they really perform, that’s when the magic happens.”
This story originally appeared in our sister publication, Northwest News.