2017 San Antonio Super Regional


Prelims Results
(View full recap here)

Class A
1. Weiss H.S., TX
2. Ann Richards School, TX
3. Jourdanton H.S., TX
Music: Ann Richards School, TX
Visual: Weiss H.S., TX
GE: Weiss H.S., TX

Class AA
1. Southwest H.S., TX
2. Hidalgo H.S., TX
3. Tom Glenn H.S., TX
Music: Southwest H.S., TX
Visual: Southwest H.S., TX
GE: Southwest H.S., TX

Class AAA
1. Cedar Park H.S., TX
2. Leander H.S., TX
3. Clear Brook H.S., TX
Music: Leander H.S., TX
Visual: Cedar Park H.S., TX
GE: Cedar Park H.S., TX

Class AAAA
1. Hebron H.S., TX
2. Vandegrift H.S., TX
3. Claudia T. Johnson H.S., TX
Music: Claudia Taylor Johnson H.S., TX
Visual: Avon H.S., IN
GE: Hebron H.S., TX

The 2017 San Antonio Super Regional will be held Nov. 3–4 at the Alamodome. In 2016, Flower Mound swept the finals competition, earning first place from every single judge.

Instead of reading our opinions, try listening to them on the HornRank Podcast:


Analysis
It feels like we say this every year, but this year's competition is even more intense than last year's. At first sweep there are close to 20 bands that could be considered locks for finals on their own merit, but obviously that's impossible since there are only 14 finals spots available. There are so many possible outcomes, and very few that would be shocking. The one thing to remember these last few days: it'll be close, but those last few finalist spots are wide open.

The champion contenders

With so many outstanding bands competing at San Antonio this year, the champion title isn’t up for grabs from just two or three top groups, but instead there are five different bands we think could possibly come away with the top spot.

Avon performs at the Indianapolis Super Regional on Oct. 21, 2017, at Lucas Oil Stadium. // Photo by Jace Hook
Avon, Indiana: The mighty Avon is making a trek down to San Antonio to compete against practically the entire state of Texas. The band has been at the top of the activity for over a decade, winning three national championships and beating numerous Texas bands that have traveled to Indianapolis in the past, but never have they faced this many Texas bands at once.

Claudia Taylor Johnson: So far this year, CTJ has won two regionals: Austin and Midland, and is clearly on trajectory to try for a medal at San Antonio. The band has taken a little different approach to the season this year, having the entire show on the field at Austin in mid-September and spending the remaining time cleaning. We’ll see if that strategy pays off.

Flower Mound: After winning consecutive super regional titles in 2015 and 2016, FloMo is the favorite to win a third title this year, but that will not be an easy task. They’ve been neck-and-neck with Hebron all season at the Southlake Regional and at local competitions.

Hebron: As the only band attending San Antonio that has beaten Flower Mound in recent history, Hebron is certainly in the discussion to take home the title. After several years of strong placements at San Antonio, this could be the year Hebron finally takes the top spot.

Vandegrift: Earlier this season, Vandy earned a solid second place at Austin, then a few weeks later, first place at Conroe. The band is able produce an incredible volume and quality of sound, with no amplification, an impressive feat in the age of shotgun mics and other forms of ensemble amplification.

Fighting for the top half

After the champion contenders, there are two open spots in the top half. The following groups are the ones we expect to be battling for a top-half spot.

Leander performs at the Austin Regional on Sept. 23, 2017, at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex. // Photo by Jeremiah Wooten
Leander: This is a band that’s pretty difficult to predict. They earned third at last year’s San Antonio Super Regional, but so far this season, they’ve finished behind many of the bands they beat last year, and ahead of one of the bands they were behind last year.

Marcus: The third band of the Lewisville ISD trio is no stranger to San Antonio finals, and hasn’t been out of the top half since 2013. But with Avon making a trip down and other groups stronger as ever, it won’t be as easy to secure a placement in the top half.

Ronald Reagan: Reagan was very close behind Vandy at the Conroe Regional and later finished narrowly ahead at the Texas Marching Classic. A top-half finish is very likely, and there’s an outside chance they could win the title.

The Woodlands: It’s unclear how much the band was affected by Hurricane Harvey earlier this year. At Conroe, their show was noticeably shorter than expected, but they’ve had a lot of time since then to make up for the missed time. We expect a strong performance, but we'll have to wait and find out where that will put them in the rankings.

Solidly in finals

There are a few bands that likely won’t finish in the top half, but should have no trouble earning a finals spot.

Cedar Park: After finishing the 2016 season as the highest ranking band at Grand Nationals, Cedar Park started this year’s season with a respectable fifth place finish at the Austin Regional. They also are the current favorite to win the 5A state championship just a few days after San Antonio.

Hendrickson performs at the Austin Regional on Sept. 23, 2017, at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex. // Photo by Jeremiah Wooten
Hendrickson: This band has been on fire the past few years. After being unable to perform at San Antonio in 2015 because of weather, Hendrickson jumped into finals with their 3D show in 2016. Henny has another incredible production this year, and we’re hoping we’ll get to see it again in finals.

James Bowie: After a stunningly low placement at the Austin Regional, Bowie bounced back to earn a stunningly high placement at Conroe, finishing ahead of The Woodlands in finals. If they can keep up that trajectory of growth, they could possible shoot up to the top half of finals.

The tough edge

There are certainly more than two additional bands that deserve to be in finals, but with only 14 finals spots, there will be some exceptional bands that won’t get to perform a second time.

Cedar Ridge performs at the Atlanta Super Regional on Oct. 28, 2017, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. // Photo by Claire Albrecht
Cedar Ridge: After missing finals at San Antonio last year, Cedar Ridge seems to be really bringing it this year. They earned sixth place at the Austin Regional and most recently fourth place at the Atlanta Super Regional.

Keller: Earlier this season at the Southlake Regional, Keller earned fifth place, right behind the Lewisville ISD trio and LD Bell. They maintained a solid margin above sixth place in both prelims and finals.

LD Bell: Just a few weeks ago in Tulsa, LD Bell narrowly beat Blue Springs. That combined with their prelims victory over Marcus in Southlake puts them in a really good position to make finals here in San Antonio.

Round Rock: The band started off the season very strong with a third place finish at the Austin Regional. They fell to seventh at the Conroe Regional just a few weeks later. They’re a solid band that has a lot of potential to make finals, but it won’t be easy, and there’s no guarantee.

Vista Ridge: After placing tenth at the Austin Regional, Vista Ridge jumped up to sixth place at Southlake, just one spot behind Keller. A strong performance here could earn them a finals spot.

Winston Churchill: As they prepare to make a trip to Grand Nationals, Churchill has continued their streak of regional finals appearances, making finals at both the Austin and Conroe regionals earlier this year. Another finals appearance at San Antonio would be great position to be in before heading off to Indy just a few days later.

Beyond these groups we’ve highlighted, there are dozens of others that would be in finals or at least in the discussion at any other super regional, but band is just better in Texas. No matter which groups are in finals and which are out, it will certainly be an exciting weekend of band, and we can’t wait for it to get started!

Predictions
1. Flower Mound H.S., TX
2. Hebron H.S., TX
3. Avon H.S., IN
4. Claudia Taylor Johnson H.S., TX
5. Vandegrift H.S., TX
6. Marcus H.S., TX
7. The Woodlands H.S., TX
8. Ronald Reagan H.S., TX
9. Leander H.S., TX
10. Hendrickson H.S., TX
11. James Bowie H.S., TX
12. Cedar Park H.S., TX
13. LD Bell H.S., TX
14. Round Rock H.S., TX

Adjudication Panel
Music: Marty Griffin, Jay Kennedy, Matt McCready, Paul McGarr, Steve Meyer, Travis Moddison, Caleb Rothe, and Ken Turner.
Visual: Lee Carlson, William Chumley, Tim Ochran, Michael Stone, Jim Sturgeon, and Jeff Young.
Chief: Gary Markham

19 comments:

  1. AVON'S GOING TO SAN ANTONIO?!??!!

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  2. San Antonio is going to be wild...

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  3. The community and program are stellar, although they do have some issues with the program's leadership. Hoping the current and former program members can help affect the change needed to see this program return to it's past glory. Keeping in mind the economic changes of the area and the fact that L. D. Bell high school is only 10th, 11th, 12th grades, it's an amazing feat that they are still so competitive; the families commit, support and contribute all they do to enable the program to excel against schools with a year more experience.

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  4. Claudia Taylor Johnson is going to take the W on this one.

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  5. I can't even predict the top 7 bands.... This is going to basically be Grand Nats this year. Im so excited to see who takes the Win this year...

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    1. True, this was a super-regional disguised as a mini-national.

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  6. Hopefully LD Bell is going to do great this year

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  7. This is going to be the craziest BOA San Antonio of all time... I can't wait to see it in person!

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  8. And away we go!

    Ready to see some/many/most of the best high school marching bands on the planet.

    It's going to be great.

    And you thought Game 7 of the World Series was tense... They got nothing on BOA SA!

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  9. Tomorrow it starts! This is going to be a great 2 days.

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  10. Avon is killing me. This is the toughest competition and they are showing up to kick a Texas band out of the finals.

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  11. Bell didnt make finals again... Looks like BOA needs to hire some new judges...

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    1. Probably not the judges. Avon came down...remember?

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  12. Grand Nats will be nowhere close to being this exciting or competitive. This was the hardest BOA San Antonio, EVER. I'm so glad I was there in person!

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  13. WOW! What a weekend in San Antonio. If High School Marching Band got any better I don’t think I could stand it. I’m anxious to live stream Grand Nat’s – but I can’t image the level of competition being any better than the SA Super Regional.

    Avon was in-the-house. The family/friends that traveled with Avon down to San Antonio represented the best of what HS Band is (should be). They were friendly, gracious, and appreciative of all the attention they received. I hope they and other “big name” bands around the country will make the trip down south again in the future. I believe the Avon organization walked away with a new/renewed appreciation for how tough BOA contests are in Texas. As I’ve said before, there are great bands all over the country (and Avon is certainly right at the top of the list) – but Texas has a lion’s share of them.

    The competition itself was unbelievable. A 90.25 in Prelims DID NOT make finals – there were 15 bands scoring 90+ and only 14 could be in Finals. That is heart-breaking for the bands just out of Finals.

    The Finals judges didn’t back off with scoring. The first band performing in Finals got a 90.875 – with the judges knowing there were 13 more bands to follow. In the end, there was only a 7.6 point spread between 1st and 14th. That’s a tight field of bands. There are 5, 6 or 7 bands that on any given night with any given set of judges could have come out on top.

    Well, we’ve reached the end of another GREAT contest season in Texas. We will now cheer on those bands at UIL State (1A, 2A, 3A & 5A) and BOA Grand Nat’s this week.

    Thanks to the publishers/editors of HornRank for providing their collective set of opinions and in-depth analysis. See you next season.

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  14. Coppell High School was fairly placed this year, but mark my word, they will be in finals in 2018!

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