October 8/9 Contest Predictions
Filed under: — ilmarching @ 1:09 pm

Updated for Marengo. Our 3-2 record from two weeks ago carried over to this past weekend, putting us at 8-5-1 for the year in correctly named Grand Champions. With one week left until both the ISU and U of I contests, bands are really starting to pick up the pace, and that may very well translate into some excellent shows this Saturday.

  • Atwood-Hammond Invitational(Schedule/Discussion)
    The big names at this show are all in Class A, especially Effingham and Champaign Centennial, who are preparing for U of I next week. Also to consider is Robinson, who has had a strong early-season showing in the past few years, but is then passed by other bands. Effingham has had quite a bit of success so far this year, and while they didn’t win like we picked them to last week, they still have a shot to pull it off this week. Our Pick – Effingham
  • Metamora Parade and Field (Schedule, Message Board)
    This contest is THE place to be in downstate Illinois, preferably all Saturday if you have the chance. Boasting what may be the most evenly matched contest seen at Metamora for many years, this one will probably choose some favorites for ISU/U of I the next weekend. Just to consider, we think it’s possible that Macomb, Morton, Herscher, Normal Community, Galesburg, or IVC (yes, you read that right, SIX bands in serious contention!) will walk away the winners. Also, possible suprise bands (though, not as likely winners) are Eureka, Washington, and Dunlap – they may end up spoiling a few predicted placements. Also, notice that we have NINE 2004 IL Marching Bands of the Year or Honorary Mention Bands at this show – that NEVER happens except at ISU and U of I (sometimes).

    In the end, (after a lot of discussion, message board reading, and some wild guessing), we have to think that the odds favor IVC. They are a very well-known band, and seem to have improved quite a bit since the Pekin show. Their parading probably gives them the advantage over all of the 3A bands, and they likely have a strong field show to contend against the bigger bands with. No one will be surprised if IVC comes out the winner, but if they don’t, whatever band does win will have earned it – and a possible “favorite” status next week. Our Pick – Illinois Valley Central

  • Prospect Knight of Champions (Schedule)
    Want to know who the favorite is for ISU 6A next week? Whoever comes out the winner here, between Lincoln-Way East, Lincoln-Way Central, and Lake Park at this show (which Prospect is only performing in Exhibition in) will hold that distinction. Of the three, we have to think that the odds favor Lake Park – they did outscore the other two bands (even if only in exhibition) at their own contest, and of these three, they usually tend to come out on top. Certainly, though, a Lincoln-Way school could end up surprising the band from Roselle. Also in Class AAA, be sure to catch Hersey and Waubonsie Valley, the #2 and #3 bands at last year’s U of I contest. Our Pick – Lake Park
  • Stagg Marching Band Jamboree (Schedule, Message Board)
    This contest will be fun to watch, if for no other reason than that the “traditional powers” aren’t showing up. That means that a lot of underappreciated bands will get to show their stuff, and many will bring awards home for it. We think that Naperville Central, a band that has really come on strong in the last 3 years, has the best shot to win, as they are the only band on the list that was an ISU Finalist last year, but there could be some surprises as well. The Plainfield band has a long history of strong performance, and with the program getting going again, be sure to see them as well. Our Pick – Naperville Central
  • SIU Music & Motion(Schedule, Discussion Board)
    Another great Southern Illinois show. Alton is attending this one, as their own contest was cancelled, as are Murphysboro, Collinsville, Waterloo, and a host of others. Murphysboro won a Grand Championship last week at Sparta, but Collinsville took home the big honor at Eastern Illinois. We don’t have much to compare them with directly this year, but Murphysboro seems to have a good, solid show, and is our pick (though, first, they have to get past Waterloo in Class A). Look for Newton in Class B. Our Pick – Murphysboro
  • Marengo Settler’s Days (Sunday) (Schedule, Discussion)
    Like many Sunday contests, this one features many bands that are not traditional powerhouses, yet still enjoy the spirit of competitive band. For many, this will be the one and only time to see these bands compete all year. We think that Wheeling, a band that does compete at several shows during the fall, probably has an edge on the other bands in both their class (largest), and overall. Additionally, Wheeling has the advantage of performing last in both class and overall. Our Pick – Wheeling
(full article)