2014 Indianapolis Super Regional

Prelims Results:
(View full recap here)

Class A
1. Bellbrook H.S., OH
2. Western H.S., IN
3. Forest Park H.S., IN

Music: Bellbrook H.S., OH
Visual: Bellbrook H.S., OH
GE: Bellbrook H.S., OH

Class AA
1. Marian Catholic H.S., IL
2. Rockwood Summit H.S., MO
3. Greenwood Community H.S., IN

Music: Marian Catholic H.S., IL
Visual: Marian Catholic H.S., IL
GE: Marian Catholic H.S., IL

Class AAA
1. Franklin H.S., TN
2. Prospect H.S., IL
3. Castle H.S., IN

Music: Franklin H.S., TN
Visual: Prospect H.S., IL
GE: Franklin H.S., TN

Class AAAA
1. Carmel H.S., IN
2. Avon H.S., IN
3. Homestead H.S., IN

Music: Carmel H.S., IN
Visual: Carmel H.S., IN
GE: Carmel H.S., IN

Finals Results:
(View full recap here)

1. (91.55) Avon H.S., IN
2. (90.25) Carmel H.S., IN
3. (87.10) Marian Catholic H.S., IL
4. (85.60) Homestead H.S., IN
5. (84.30) Franklin H.S., TN
6. (82.95) Prospect H.S., IL
7. (82.45) O'Fallon Township H.S., IL
8. (82.15) Lake Central H.S., IN
9. (82.05) Lawrence Township, IN
10. (82.00) Castle H.S., IN
11. (80.30) Center Grove H.S., IN
12. (79.30) Carroll H.S., IN
13. (79.25) Columbus North H.S., IN
14. (79.25) Ben Davis H.S., IN
15. (79.15) Bentonville H.S., AR

Music: Avon H.S., IN
Visual: Carmel H.S., IN
GE: Avon H.S., IN
The 2014 Indianapolis Super Regional was held Oct. 24–25 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Sixty-five bands competed, and Avon was named super regional champion.

Post-competition analysis
If there's one thing we've found out this season, it's that we're bad at predictions. We did get a couple of groups in the right placement, but not very many. Avon was the definite winner by over a point, but their equally definite defeat by Carmel in prelims was pretty shocking. Franklin did very well, placing 5th, but it will be interesting to see if they can hang on to that placement in a couple of weeks at Grand Nats. If they can, they'll be safely in finals. If they can't, they might find themselves very close outside of finals again this year.

Pre-competition analysis
We know that Homestead is good,
but we don't know how good.
The stakes for the Indianapolis Super Regional are high every year, but this year is shaping up to have more storylines and drama than ever before. With over 60 bands in attendance, including many that will be back at Lucas Oil three weeks later, Indy is often viewed as a Grand Nats dress rehearsal. Plus, with 9 of the bands in the HornRank Top 30, 7 of the Top 15 bands at Grand Nationals in 2013, and 3 probable contenders to win Grand Nationals in 2014 all in attendance, the stage will be set for a wild two days. Here are our predictions for what is shaping up to be a great weekend. (If you want our placement predictions without analysis, you can skip down to the bottom.)

1. Avon
Avon has not finished below 2nd at the Indianapolis Super Regional since 2005. That is beyond incredible. They have won 6 Indianapolis Super Regionals since 2004, while finishing third in 2005 and finishing second four more times, including last season. With Avon seeking its first Eagle since the three-peat years of 2008-2010, the group is hungry to get on the right track with a victory in Indianapolis this weekend. We’ve been told that Avon’s students are very aware of the ramifications that this regional has on the rest of the season and are focused on making sure a great performance happens Saturday night. With their strong performance and victory at the ISSMA South Regional last week, we expect Avon to make a claim as the top band in Indiana, and perhaps, the nation.

2. Homestead
When was the last time a band other than Avon or Carmel finished in the Top 2 of the Indianapolis Super Regional? It was 2008, when Lawrence Central took the top spot. This means that for 5 straight years, the same two programs have competed for this regional championship exclusively…until this year. Their state competitor, Homestead, arguably the most prominent band program in the nation that has not competed in BOA events in recent years, has decided to join the fun and perform in this year’s Indianapolis Super Regional as well as Grand Nationals. Their reappearance has raised many questions, with the first being how a band that predominantly performed on the state level in the past will fare on the national stage with different sheets and judges. We think they will emerge as a strong contender for the Eagle. With what some are calling a decisive victory over Carmel in last week’s ISSMA North regional, the group has already proved to the local community that they are poised to emerge as a Grand Nationals contender in their first year back in BOA. But while we enjoy all the speculation, we're really excited to finally get an answer to questions about how good Homestead really is.

3. Carmel
The 2012 Grand National Champion and 2013 Grand National Runner-Up is focused on getting back to form this season and having a great performance in Indianapolis after their defeat last weekend. A 3rd place finish would be their lowest at the Indianapolis Super Regional since 2008, and it’s not like they are a lock for the Top 3 either. Many questions have arisen about Carmel’s performance and whether or not they could fall out of contention for a Grand National Championship with a poor performance this weekend. We think otherwise and expect a great showing.

4. Marian Catholic
Marian Catholic was on the bubble for Grand National Finals for the first time in years and years in 2013, and their 9th place finish was not as memorable as many other years during Marian Catholic and Greg Bimm’s historic 30 years of consecutive Grand National Finals appearances. This year is shaping up to be a lot different. Early videos suggest that this year could be a resurgent bounce back after nearly missing finals at BOA St. Louis in 2013. Many experts predict Marian could even sneak into the Top 2 or 3 and claim a caption if all goes well this weekend, though they don't tend to win things until the very last week. We’re excited to see how they do this weekend.

5. Franklin
Franklin is looking to make school history this year as an appearance in finals would mark their first Super Regional Finals appearance ever. The last time they attended any Super Regional was in Lucas Oil Stadium at the 2009 edition of the Indianapolis Super Regional. The band has come a long way since then; they placed 17th in 2009. But this group is looking to do more than just sneak in to finals: they’re looking to make a very strong showing and prove they are a real contender for Grand National Finals. Franklin’s show has looked promising, especially at the Louisville regional, where they placed just 0.05 below Castle with less show on the field. The gap between Franklin and Castle will be slim, and the higher placement will depend on how well both groups execute the new material on the field. A strong placement for Franklin would bode well heading into Grand Nationals in November and would help their chances of snagging a spot in Grand National Finals for the first time in the school’s history.

6. Castle
Castle’s season has already seen great success after defeating Franklin at the Louisville Regional in the first week of the season. Their show is primed for a mid-season Super Regional like this one because their show is already so far ahead of many of the top groups attending, especially visually. Castle’s demand is less than many groups expected to make finals, but their execution should give them an edge as they’ll be much cleaner musically and visually. While this could come back to bite Castle at Grand Nationals and on the state level later in the year, it will help them in the short term and likely lead to a Top 7 finish this weekend.

7. Lake Central
Lake Central, the 14th place finisher at Grand Nationals in 2013, has looked strong in early season videos and should fare well in their first BOA regional of the season. They placed 4th in the ISSMA North regional behind Homestead, Carmel, and Goshen, three strong bands, and were not too far off from Carmel in performance, according to those who attended the show. Expect a solid performance from them.

8. Lawrence Township
Previously Lawrence Central, the newly formed Lawrence Township has surprised audiences with their performance thus far despite the increase in numbers. While their show at this point in the season may not produce an extremely high finish, expect them to do well at Grand Nationals.

9. Center Grove

Just one spot out of Grand National Finals in 2013 and a GN Finalist in 2012, Center Grove is trying to make a run this season to come back to Finals again. But things look bleaker than expected after getting two pointed in Louisville by Castle and Franklin. They’ll need to have improved rapidly since in order to contend as they usually do.

10. Centerville
The Centerville Jazz Band placed an incredibly strong showing at last year’s edition of the Indianapolis Super Regional, placing 6th and just below Grand National finalist Marian Catholic. However, their 3rd place finish at the Toledo regional, finishing behind Goshen and Plymouth-Canton, has begged the question if they will contend this season.

11. O’Fallon Township
O’Fallon was remarkably impressive at St. Louis last weekend, stunningly taking 3rd in Class over Union and Owasso. They should safely make finals if they perform as well as they did in St. Louis.

12. Prospect
While Prospect hasn’t been to a BOA contest this season, they were very impressive at last year’s BOA St. Louis Super Regional, taking the Visual Caption. Their placement could vary wildly, but they should be in finals.

13. Columbus North
Columbus North wasn’t even on the radar for finals at Indianapolis until their shocking upset last weekend at ISSMA South Regional, where they finished above Center Grove, Lawrence Township, and Ben Davis. The question, as always, is how their show will transfer in a BOA event. While the competition for the bubble will be competitive, expect Columbus North to sneak in.

14. Bentonville
The Bentonville band was very impressive at St. Louis last weekend, finishing 12th in Finals. While the field for this regional is more competitive, this group is very solid and could move further than 14th. They will have to defeat Ben Davis in order to get in; we don’t anticipate a scenario in which both bands make it into finals. The competition for the bubble spots will be stiff, but we expect Bentonville to pull it out.

This regional will certainly be the most exciting yet. We’d love to hear your thoughts and predictions down below.

1. Avon H.S., IN
2. Homestead H.S., IN
3. Carmel H.S., IN
4. Marian Catholic H.S., IN
5. Franklin H.S., TN
6. Castle H.S., IN
7. Lake Central H.S., IN
8. Lawrence Township, IN
9. Center Grove H.S., IN
10. Centerville H.S., OH
11. O'Fallon Township H.S., IL
12. Prospect H.S., IL
13. Columbus North H.S., IN
14. Bentonville H.S., AR


  1. I don't know, I heard Bentonville is doing really well this season. They moved up 10 places last year who says they can't make finals here.

  2. You'll want to put Lawrence Twp over Homestead in this one. That might not be the case later at ISSMA, but in the two BOA events LT gets the nod.

    1. Not sure where you get the "MUCH higher" comment from. Here are Homestead's scores and victory margins for the last 6 years Week 1 Bluffton, per IM:

      2009 - 75.25 (7 point victory margin)
      2010 - 73.4 (6.5 point margin)
      2011 - 73.1 (5.6 point margin)
      2012 - 76.65 (8.2 point margin)
      2013 - 71.2 (3.8 point margin)
      2014 - 71.0 (5.65 point margin)

      So while it's meaningless to compare scores from year to year, it is completely incorrect to suggest that this was their highest opening week. It's actually their lowest score in 6 years. I did not go back further.

      And of course size is nice but it's hardly the most important factor. They were the largest in ISSMA last year and finished 3rd. They may do very well in BOA, but I think bands like LT with BOA experience will come out on top in 2014.

    2. Why do you hate Homestead so much? Just cause they don't have BOA experience doesn't mean they suck. By the way in week two of competition Homestead scored a 74.2, which is 0.8 points HIGHER than Avon, and 1.35 points higher than carmel. Who knows what Lawrence Township could pull off, but I have a feeling my bet is safe on Homestead.

    3. If Lawrence Township beats Homestead, it will be because LT is very good Not just good, but very good. It would not be a knock on Homestead but rather a well done for LT (or Carmel or Avon). Homestead is certainly capable of besting any or all of these bands, in any judging forum- and each are capable of besting Homestead and each other. It would be a mistake to not consider the long success in BOA of Lawrence Central (now LT), Carmel and Avon as an important asset for BOA competition and scoring, but (1) the Homestead staff are certainly familiar with these bands and are comfortable in Lucas Oil Stadium; and (2) have a strong staff, including with plenty DCI experience, that will play nicely into the BOA mix. I am personally ok with someone predicting LT over Homestead and not view it as hateful; I personally hope for the other way around, but I enjoy all of our Indiana BOA (you would be unwise to forget Lake Central, Castle, Center Grove and Ben Davis from ISSMA class A, too, as each of these are very capable bands) and am grateful that Homestead has rejoined BOA. I hope for 8 Indiana finalists for Indy Super Regional! Ah heck, Greenwood, make it 9!

    4. The problem for Homestead will be that they won't come out with a 25 foot lamp or anything. What I mean by that is that BOA seems to beg for a lot of wacky stuff (inflatable grooms?) that Homestead is unlikely to employ. We'll see, but my guess is that they ultimately finish behind a band or two in BOA that they'll have beaten in ISSMA. And no I do not hate Homestead. I see them at least twice a season and think they're one of the best programs in the country.

    5. It seems to me that the BOA judges will love homestead's show this year. No they don't have a 25 foot lamp, but they do have a 30 foot tree, giant mushrooms, and a river on the field. And also I won't fail to mention that every guard member in the entire band wears 8 foot fairy wings. Is that wacky enough for you?

    6. More does not mean better. Avon 2010 :P And also Avon beating Lawrence central in GE by 1.9 with props that weren't really used. And The Woodlands stomped Avon with a few rail road crossing blocks.

  3. I've heard that ISSMA draws judges familiar to BOA/DCI/WGI, so I'm not sure the judging is completely different. You are right however about the different scoring system between ISSMA and BOA and how that could make a difference. Take for example Avon and Carmel in 2013. Carmel consistently beat Avon at Muncie, Indy, and Grand Nationals. However at the ISSMA championship, Avon beat Carmel.

  4. Lmao at the guy comparing scores from different competitions in week TWO. Anyways, I think it's bold to put Homestead above Lawrence Twp and Marian Catholic. But then again, these are pre-season predictions so you may have changed your mind after seeing some of the shows. I think Homestead may have gone over-board on the bling for BOA, and forgot that there are other captions besides GE, and that part of GE is music effect.

  5. some SERIOUSLY crazy stuff could happen at the Indianapolis supper regionals next weekend. Yesterday Homestead won a state regionals competition, against carmel and lake central. At the other state regionals competition CASTLE and COLUMBUS NORTH placed ahead of major BOA names like Lawrence Township, Center Grove, and Ben Davis. Anything could happen this year.

  6. ISSMA is ISSMA and BOA is BOA. I think you'll see a more orderly and pre-expected result in Indy on Saturday night.

  7. Marian placed 9th, not 10th at BOA Nats. 6th in semi-finals.

  8. Wow! You predicted it pretty close. I went to regional finals and I was baffled at how to place all the bands. They were all so great this year. Avon, Homestead, and Marian Catholic all have especially spectacular shows. I'm 99.99 percent sure those three bands will make grand nats this year, and place very well. For those of you who don't know these were the top 15 scores.

    Finals Results
    1) 91.55 - Avon
    2) 90.25 - Carmel
    3) 87.10 - Marian Catholic (IL)
    4) 85.60 - Homestead
    5) 84.30 - Franklin (TN)
    6) 82.95 - Prospect (IL)
    7) 82.45 - O'Fallon Township (IL)
    8) 82.15 - Lake Central
    9) 82.05 - Lawrence Township
    10) 82.00 - Castle
    11) 80.30 - Center Grove
    12) 79.30 - Carroll
    13) 79.25 - Columbus North
    14) 79.25 - Ben Davis
    15) 79.15 - Bentonville (AR)

    Music - Avon
    Visual - Carmel
    GE - Avon