2014 San Antonio Super Regional

Prelims Results:
(View full recap here)

Class A
1. Jackson Academy, MS
2. Hidalgo H.S., TX
3. Potosi H.S., MO

Music: Jackson Academy, MS
Visual: Hidalgo H.S., TX
GE: Jackson Academy, MS

Class AA
1. Aledo H.S., TX
2. Blue Valley West H.S., KS
3. Waller H.S., TX

Music: Aledo H.S., TX
Visual: Aledo H.S., TX
GE: Aledo H.S., TX

Class AAA
1. Leander H.S., TX
2. Vandegrift H.S., TX
3. Cedar Park H.S., TX

Music: Leander H.S., TX
Visual: Leander H.S., TX
GE: Leander H.S., TX

Class AAAA
1. Claudia Taylor Johnson H.S., TX
2. Marcus H.S., TX
3. The Woodlands H.S., TX

Music: Claudia Taylor Johnson H.S., TX
Visual: James Bowie H.S., TX
GE: Claudia Taylor Johnson H.S., TX

Finals Results:
(View full recap here)

1. (93.35) Claudia Taylor Johnson H.S., TX
2. (92.15) James Bowie H.S., TX
3. (91.80) Leander H.S., TX
4. (91.00) Marcus H.S., TX
5. (90.10) The Woodlands H.S., TX
6. (90.05) Hebron H.S., TX
7. (89.95) Cedar Park H.S., TX
8. (88.90) LD Bell H.S., TX
9. (87.35) Ronald Reagan H.S., TX
10. (87.05) Vandegrift H.S., TX
11. (85.05) Round Rock H.S., TX
12. (84.70) Westlake H.S., TX
13. (84.55) Flower Mound H.S., TX
14. (84.00) Vista Ridge H.S., TX

Music: (tie) Leander H.S., TX
and Marcus H.S., TX
Visual: (tie) James Bowie H.S., TX
and Claudia Taylor Johnson H.S., TX
GE: Claudia Taylor Johnson H.S., TX
The 2014 San Antonio Super Regional was held Oct. 31–Nov. 1 at the Alamodome. Sixty-four bands from across the state of Texas and beyond competed, and Claudia Taylor Johnson was named super regional champion.

Post-competition analysis
We've suddenly become huge fans of Claudia Taylor Johnson. CTJ is likely the only under-ten-year-old school that has ever been talked about as a contender for the national champion title. While they aren't going to Grand Nats in 2014 we're hoping they'll make the trip next year not only so that we can see them in person, but also because they really could win it all.

Pre-competition analysis
This event is often referred to as “the other Grand Nats” because so many of these Texas groups attend Grand Nats only once every couple of years. The San Antonio Super Regional will carry even more weight this season compared to last since only one of the groups attending (Flower Mound) is going on to Grand Nationals afterwards, one of the lowest numbers from this regional in quite sometime. That means that many of the top groups in the nation will end their season with the San Antonio Super Regional and the UIL Texas State Championship the following week.

Many of the top groups in
the nation will end their
season at this competition.
Many of the nation's most prominent bands, including The Woodlands, Hebron, and Marcus, will return to this event fighting for that number one spot. Many other finalists bands from last year will be returning as well. In fact, 11 of the 14 finalists from last year's historic regional will be back again in 2014. Only Blue Springs, Coppell, and Cedar Ridge will be absent. With the Texas band scene (and San Antonio regional in particular) being as closely competitive as any area in the nation, it becomes impossible to predict finals for this event with any degree of accuracy.

Here are our final picks for what should be an incredible weekend of BOA. If you want a more condensed list of our placement predictions, scroll all the way down to the bottom.

1. Hebron has had a stellar year so far, winning the Denton regional and qualifying for state. They’re consistently ranked top five in our poll and for the past couple of weeks have been the highest ranking Texas band. With their wins in the music and visual captions over Marcus and LD Bell, Hebron proved once again that they’re stellar season last year was no fluke. Expect Hebron to claim the championship they missed last season by 0.05 points.

2. Claudia Taylor Johnson, the sixth ranked band in the nation according to our HornRank Top 30 poll, shocked the nation with their near 3 point victory against The Woodlands at Conroe while sweeping captions in the process. The Woodlands didn’t lose a single BOA event all of last season! While CTJ is one of the youngest schools that is competitive on the national stage, they’ve already built a reputation of consistently great music and General Effect. Expect a great showing in finals.

3. Marcus looked strong in finals at BOA Denton despite their defeat at the hands of Hebron. They are certainly in the hunt to win this regional, but they aren’t the favorites like they were in 2012, the last time Marcus won this Super Regional. A win here could ensure a high placement at UIL state finals. As always with Marcus, expect high individual music and individual visual scores; they finished first in both captions in Grand Nationals last season.

4. The Woodlands, the reigning Grand National and San Antonio Super Regional Champions, ranked eighth in last week’s poll, due to concerns about their 3 point loss to CTJ at Conroe and the very small point spread from their neighbors at The Woodlands College Park. The surprising part about their defeat was that The Woodlands took prelims and the visual and GE captions just hours earlier. We expect the reigning champs to post a solid score and possibly take this Super Regional for a second year in a row.

5. James Bowie, our ninth place band in last week’s poll, posted a gaudy 84.30 in their September victory at BOA Austin, but we haven’t seen them in action at a BOA Regional since. Their extremely impressive third place finish, as well as their taking of the GE Caption in prelims, proved once again that Bowie will be a contender in the Texas band circuit for a long time. We’re excited to see how their show has progressed since their early season performance.

6. Round Rock stunned us when they missed the cut for their Area last week at UIL, losing the opportunity to perform at state. But those scores shouldn’t mean too much towards a BOA event. Their stunning fourth place finish at Grand Nationals and Rose Bowl bid last season leave high expectations for Saturday. Was their terrific season last year a one time thing? Or is Round Rock a powerhouse for years to come? We’ll find out Saturday night.

7. Leander finished just one place out of San Antonio Finals last season, and no looks poised to make a run for the top half of finals. They proved their championship prowess in tying James Bowie at BOA Austin and have improved steadily over the last few seasons to the point where this outcome was nearly inevitable; in fact, we predicted them at 10th for this Super Regional before the season started. Expect them to be this year’s Vandegrift.

8. Vandegrift shocked the world last season with their seventh place finish at San Antonio while taking the music caption. Their stunning season was capped off by a state championship in their class. However, their loss to Leander at Austin suggests they won’t simply walk into a high finals placement. Expect Vandegrift to make finals, but where they’ll fall is certainly up for discussion.

9. Flower Mound is the only Texas band making the trip to the Grand National Championships, so they need to make finals at San Antonio to prove to the nation they are ready to be a finalist contender at Grand Nats. Their fantastic performance at BOA Denton, where they defeated LD Bell and Coppell, proved that they could hang around with top competition at a regional. But they must prove that they can do the same thing at a later season regional.

10. Ronald Reagan surprised a lot of people with their top five finish at last season’s San Antonio Super Regional despite their slow start to the 2013 season, and they look like they might have to make another miraculous comeback again after finishing sixth at BOA Conroe a few weeks ago, losing to bands such as Brazoswood, Spring, and The Woodlands College Park, groups they rarely, if ever, lose to. Let’s hope they can comeback Saturday.

11. LD Bell was stunned last weekend at UIL Area and missed the cut to state for the first time in a long time. Though the band once again made finals at Grand Nationals last season, the group simply was not up to the caliber we have come to expect in years past. We’ve been saying this since August when we released our preseason predictions. LD Bell is not a lock for finals.

12. Westlake¸ arguably one of the best concert band groups in this state, brings that power onto the field, just as they did last year in San Antonio Finals. This program could place anywhere from the top half of finals to missing it entirely….we’ll just have to wait and see.

13. Spring has not made finals at San Antonio in recent years, but they have always been knocking on the door. This year might be the year they finally break through. After defeating Ronald Reagan at BOA Conroe and finishing in the top five of a solid regional, Spring might have the show this year to finally pull off a chance to run their show under the lights Saturday Night.

14. Cedar Park has consistently been one of the most solid programs in the state, and they made finals at San Antonio once again last season. We just haven’t seen them in a recent enough BOA regional to have any idea how they’ll fare, but expect them to be stronger than most of the groups there, as they often are. They should sneak in the back door to finals and put a show on the field for Saturday night.

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