On Saturday, November 14, the 2015 Marching Lions scored a 92.75 during the Cavalcade of Bands Championships in Hershey, earning the highest overall score in Red Lion history.
Throughout the season, The Lions continuously increased their scores from competition to competition. Their final competition at New Oxford yielded their highest score of the competition season, a 91.6, just barely lower than the Lions previous all time high score of 92.5.
The scores the Lions received this season placed them in the upper tier of competitors for championships; open. This means the Marching Lions and seven other of the highest scoring bands in their division will compete for the last and possibly most important score of the season.
After an energy filled and focused practice saturday, band members chowed down on pizza and relaxed before the big show. The air was filled with bittersweet excitement, as the band realized their last performance of the year was that night. But for some, this would be the last performance of their lives.
As the band headed towards Hershey stadium, other bands exchanged good lucks and smiles. Cold air stung cheeks and joints froze, but the show must go on. Cheers erupted from the stadium as the Red Lion Marching Lions were announced, and streaks of black and gold flashed.
The performance was exactly what the Lions needed; a solid performance to show the other competitors that they deserved to be in open with the other top bands. Band directors Mr. Crone and Mr. Kriebel expressed their pride and satisfaction with the show afterwards, smiles bloomed and tears were shed.
“Walking off the field for the last time was rewarding knowing I poured my heart out into the show I loved to perform,” senior color guard member Tiffany Beckette said. “I will miss band, but I thank Mr. Crone for giving me the best four years I could have.”
When the seniors joined the field for scores alongside drum majors Kevin Scheetz and Kira Brandt, the realization that this was the end began to hit home. The Lions ended up placing sixth with a total score of 92.75, the highest score in Red Lion history.
The seniors were overjoyed to realize they were able to make history in their final year, a great way to leave the organization. Although it’s not a very high placing, its considered a higher placing compared to their first place finish last year.
Back at the school, four year marchers gave their final speeches to the tightly-knit bunch.
“Leaders don’t make followers, leaders make leaders, and I’m impressed with the leadership already being shown in the underclassman,” senior and four year marcher Anah Zieber said. “I look forward to taking what I learned in this activity and applying it to my future.”