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Washington Marching Panther Prediction

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This competition is a very important competition to decide which bands will be elite in Central Illinois. And the upper classes of this competition will be that of the most competitive on September 7th.


Class 1A

1. Dwight Township

2. Farmington Central

3. RPS 205

*Class 1a is interesting, I’ve actually never heard of RPS 205, but I do know Dwight Township is a pretty good 1a school and they’re my pick for first, followed by farmington and RPS.


Class 2A

1. Olympia

2. Wateska Community

3. St. Joseph-Ogden

*Three solid 2A schools. If I’m not mistaken I’ve seen all of these folks in first place in their class at some point or another.


Class 3A

1. Tri-Valley

2. Sherrard

3. ElPaso-Gridley 

*Easy love for First here in Tru-Valley, good middle competition school. Sherrard followed by El Paso for two and three respectively.


Class 4A

1. Illinois Valley Central

2. Eureka 

3. Metamora

*Awesome Class, good bands, will be one of the most competitive classes. IVC, always great and Eureka will be a toss up, my pick though is IVC followed by Eureka followed by Metamora.


Class 5A

1. Dunlap

2. Pekin Community

3. LaSalle-Peru Township

* Dunlap will win this class. As for two and three it could go either way, and I don’t know these bands as well. My pick is Pekin followed by LaSalle-Peru for two and three.


Class 6A

1. Limestone Community 

2. East Peoria Community

3. Champaign Central

*Limestone will be a band that is likely to or will get INCREDIBLY close to placing on the day. They’re my pick in 6A. East Peoria, Champaign Central are two solid programs. They’re my picks for two and three in this class.


Class 7A

1. Morton

2. Galesburg

3. Normal

*This is a fun class folks. I highly encourage everyone to stick around for this one. Morton is a well established program with great students and dedication, I have them winning the class. In second I have Galesburg who, undoubtedly, will be good this year which is obvious to anyone who saw them last year. Normal in a incredibly close third. All together I expect this to be close all the way down.




(This Grand Champions status could certainly be challenged by an excellent performance from Galesburg or Normal. All in all 7A is my pick for grand champ, whoever wins it.)





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I'll try to do a bit of a a write up for each show coming up on the 7th. This seems like a good place to start.

Washington is a great, long running contest. Washington's facilities, great judging panels, and notoriously wonderful hospitality has made it a one of the largest contests in the area. The show is a traditional first show and early read for many of Central Illinois' competitive programs. Split into 7 classes the show features split award ceremonies, as is becoming more and more common place. 

Naturally at this point in the season, predictions are even more speculation than they are later in the season, but I'll throw out some general thoughts. Generally speaking I agree with the above predictions.

Classes 1-4A feature some of the best small school programs in the state. There's some exciting stuff here. If you're a spectator and normally only watch the largest classes, there's some stuff you don't want to miss in these classes.

Class 1A: Exciting to see Ramsey competing for the first time, as far as I know, in 5 years. I do think Dwight comes in first in this class. 

Class 2A: Could EASILY go any way in this class. Three fun bands to watch for sure. I'll go with Watseka if I have to choose one.

Class 3A: I think this is going to be close between Tri Valley and Sherrard. Tough call. Tri-Valley is a perennial strong program and Sherrard is new player to the competitive marching band scene, but has experienced some significant successes and growth.  

Class 4A: As noted above, these are strong bands. All three will be fun to watch. IVC and Eureka are not strangers to each other. Those familiar with Illinois marching bands know these two have both historically been contenders in Class 1A at ISU. I'll go with Eureka as the class winner here.

Assuming there is a 1-4A champion, 4A winner will more than likely be the winner here. 


Classes 5-7A just get's more exciting. There has been so much growth from these programs over the last few years. 

Class 5 A:  Dunlap made finals last year at ISU and I think is the favorite in this class. I don't really like making predictions aside from class winners, but keep an eye on Canton. 

Class 6A: No stranger to ISU finals, Limestone is my pick in 6A, but maybe not by a huge margin. 

Class 7A: Like it or not, there are a lot of people looking at this class. I would urge spectators to not read too much into the placements here. These are three programs that will have amazing shows, and will grow and develop not only this season but over the next few years. Everything we know historically speaking doesn't really apply. Morton has a new head director this year, and I do not envy the expectations that people have probably placed on their placement at this show (FYI, regardless of how you feel about things shaking out last year at Morton, they made a good hire from what I know). Normal is only in it's second year in existence as a combined program, but lots of history from both individual programs previously. Galesburg was one of the bands everyone was talking about by the end of the 2018 season. Class 7A winner is the overall winner. If I absolutely had to choose, I'll predict Morton but with the least confidence of any of these classes. 



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