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