(view full recap here)
1. (89.15) Avon H.S., IN
2. (86.95) Carmel H.S., IN
3. (86.50) Marian Catholic H.S., IL
4. (85.25) Blue Springs H.S., MO
5. (84.55) Homestead H.S., IN
6. (82.80) Castle H.S., IN
7. (80.85) O'Fallon Township H.S., IL
8. (80.75) Lake Central H.S., IN
9. (79.70) Lawrence Township, IN
10. (78.95) Center Grove H.S., IN
11. (78.80) Franklin H.S., TN
12. (76.85) Ben Davis H.S., IN
13. (76.15) Columbus North H.S., IN
14. (75.00) Carroll H.S., IN
Music: Marian Catholic H.S., IL
Visual: Avon H.S., IN
GE: Avon H.S., IN
(view full recap here)
1. Forest Park H.S., IN
2. Western H.S., IN
3. Bellbrook H.S., OH
Music: Forest Park H.S., IN
Visual: Forest Park H.S., IN
GE: Forest Park H.S., IN
1. Marian Catholic H.S., IL
2. Greenwood Community H.S., IN
3. Limestone Community H.S., IL
Music: Marian Catholic H.S., IL
Visual: Marian Catholic H.S., IL
GE: Marian Catholic H.S., IL
1. Castle H.S., IN
2. Franklin H.S., TN
3. Columbus North H.S., IN
Music: Franklin H.S., TN
Visual: Castle H.S., IN
GE: Castle H.S., IN
1. Avon H.S., IN
2. Carmel H.S., IN
3. Blue Springs H.S., MO
Music: Avon H.S., IN
Visual: Avon H.S., IN
GE: Avon H.S., IN
The 2015 Indianapolis Super Regional was held Oct. 23–24 at Lucas Oil Stadium. This year Avon won a huge victory over perennial national finalists Carmel and Marian Catholic.
One of the most exciting things about the Indy Super Regional the past few years is getting to see how the handful of groups from outside the state of Indiana stack up against the powerful core of elite Indiana groups. This year, we got a few surprises from those out-of-state groups.
Marian Catholic was one of those surprises. While Marian is always able to clean their show by Grand Nats, they typically don't get the same results this early in the season as they will a few weeks later in the season. This year, they managed to snag the music caption in finals and third place overall, setting a high standard for themselves at Grand Nats a few weeks later.
The second surprise was Blue Springs. This group had an excellent showing at St. Louis just a week prior, but needed to show they could place among national finalists two weeks in a row. They did that, and established themselves as a shoe-in for national finalists. We said earlier in the season that Indy was Blue Springs' chance to show they deserved a spot in finals or not and they showed that they did in fact deserve a spot in finals.
The last surprise was Franklin. Franklin earned fifth place at the Indy Super in 2014, so this was a huge drop. These few weeks leading up to Grand Nats will be their chance to go home, get to work, and show that this one results does not define them.
Pre-Competition Analysis and Predictions
With all of the finalists from last year’s Indianapolis Super Regional returning, except for Bentonville (AR), this year’s competition will once again be thoroughly entertaining.
Perennial Grand National Finalists at the event include Avon, Carmel, Marian Catholic, and Lawrence Township. Homestead’s impressive return to the BOA circuit last year also makes them a heavy-hitter in this already strong competition. With these incredible program and many up-and-coming challengers all in attendance, it's a tough competition to predict. Below, we attempt to sort these groups into placement blocks. At the very end, we offer up our heavily-contested ordinal predictions.
The Champion (1st)
Avon H.S., IN—This three-time grand national champion has been consistently at the top of the pack in a variety of competitions this year. At the Dayton regional, they managed to beat out second-place Carmel by almost a full point even with a substantial half-point penalty. This past weekend at the ISSMA regional competition, Avon again beat Carmel, won the music caption, and tied Carmel for the visual caption. If they can sweep captions, Avon will be on the road to their fourth national title. If they only grab one or two captions, they'll still be in the conversation.
The Runner-up (2nd)
Carmel H.S., IN—When you think of the best bands in the nation, Carmel is always on the list. They've had their fair share of state, regional, and national champion titles and will not disappoint this year. While they've been trailing Avon for most of this season, this competition could be the first step to staging a comeback, ultimately going on to win ISSMA state or even Grand Nationals.
Competing for Bronze (3rd-5th)
Blue Springs H.S., MO—At the St. Louis Super Regional, this group showed they could swim with the big kids, placing 2nd in prelims and 3rd in finals. While they were consistently way behind Broken Arrow, they stayed rather close to Union in finals, and even beat them in prelims. If they can pull off a top three finish here at Indy, we're pretty confident they'll be in Grand National Finals a few weeks later. If not, it may be a sign that they've maxed out their show's potential a little bit too early.
Homestead H.S., IN—After twenty years away from the BOA world, Homestead made an exciting return in 2014 and had a very successful season. This year, they've had some tough results, placing second right behind Lake Central at one of this past weekend's ISSMA regionals. We expect them to make long strides of improvement in these final weeks of the season and think they'll be able to pull ahead of Lake Central here in Indy.
Marian Catholic H.S., IL—This summer, I had the pleasure of watching about twenty minutes of a Marian Catholic rehearsal. The process this group uses puts so much responsibility on each individual student and year after year, those students rise to meet everyone's expectations. If this is the year they push back into the top half of finals at Grand Nationals, Indy is a great first stop on that road.
In the Middle (6th-9th)
Castle H.S., IN—In 2013, they won a first weekend regional. In 2014, they got second at a first weekend regional. This may seem like the start of a pattern of decline, but that's far from it. Castle continues to perform at a high level year after year, and with the right show, a top half finish at Indy Super can be easily attained.
Franklin H.S., TN—Last year, this group was able to snag a spot in the top five, fifth place to be exact. It's possible that they could repeat this feat, but with Blue Springs in attendance, we think it's more likely they will fall closer to the middle of finals.
Lake Central H.S., IN—This group has been so close to making finals at Grand Nationals many, many times. If this is the year they finally break into finals, we should see a good indication of that by at least a top half finish here at Indy Super. If they can sneak into that upper teir, competing for bronze, we'll be delightfully surprised.
Prospect H.S., IL—Last year's Indy Super saw a strange tie between Prospect and Franklin. The top two AAA bands in both rounds of competition, they dramatically improved placements between prelims and finals. With the stakes as high as ever, they might be able to grab the class AAA champion title from Franklin.
Safely in Finals (10th-12th)
Center Grove H.S., IN—This group has a long history of excellence in years past, but this will be their first BOA event of the 2015 season. We're excited to see their BOA premiere and expect them to be in the bottom half of finals competing with groups like O'Fallon and Richland, but we wouldn't be surprised if they split up the middle of the pack.
O'Fallon Township H.S., IL—After a surprising finish at St. Louis, 11th in prelims and 12th in finals, we're very curious to see how O'Fallon places at Indy. This group won the Clarksville regional over Franklin and Castle in the first week of BOA competition, but now seems to be struggling to compete at that level.
Richland H.S., TX—Nine hundred miles. That's the approximate distance this group is traveling to compete at the Indy Super Regional. While it's not unusual to see Texas groups make this trip to compete at Grand Nationals, it is a little bit surprising when they make the trip for Indy Super. We expect Richland to make finals, but in terms of placements, we aren't quite certain. A bottom third of finals placement seems most realistic, but we wouldn't be shocked if the managed to grab a slot in the middle of the pack.
On the Bubble (13th-14th)
Ben Davis H.S., IN—This group is one of the six schools that beat Lawrence Township at last weekend ISSMA regionals. While at this point in the season, it's normal for LT to place lower before they begin their climb to the top, this could be an indicator of an excellent season for Ben Davis.
Carroll H.S., IN—Last year, Carroll tied Columbus North for 14th place in prelims, leading to 15 finalists. With an expected 14 finalists this year and the addition of Blue Springs and Richland, we really hope Carroll will be able to snag one of these last spots.
Columbus North H.S., IN—One of the many groups who beat Lawrence Township at this weekend's ISSMA regional, Columbus North will certainly try to do it again. With new contenders Blue Springs and Richland in attendance this year, this group will also be fighting to avoid being one of the groups pushed out of finals.
Lawrence Township, IN—This group has a long history of excellence and many Grand National finals appearances. They've had a couple years of declining success at Grand Nats and so far this year, haven't been placing well at many early-season competitions. We're hoping they can kick it into high gear and shoot up the ranks for Grand Nats, but we're not expecting an extremely high placement here at Indy Super
Penn H.S., IN—There are so many groups we could see filling these last two spots and Penn rounds out that list. They didn't attend Indy Super last year, but if that had, we think they would've been on the bubble of making finals just like they will be this year.
If you read all of the blurbs above, you'll notice that, for the most part, the Indianapolis Super Regional is a dress rehearsal for Grand Nationals. This is where groups try to prove they have what it takes to be in finals three weeks later. With that said, results from this event are in no way a definitive assessment of who will be in Grand National Finals. After this event, most groups will go home and kick it into high gear to perfect their show and keep moving up.
Now it's time for the ordinal predictions. If you haven't figured out yet, predictions are just our best guess of what will happen come awards time. The judges have the advantage of actually getting to watch the bands perform during the competition before they have to give out scores and placements. I guarantee if you asked us for predictions after the performances were done, we'd be a little bit more accurate.