Predictions for the weekend of September 12, 2009
Filed under: — Dan Balash @ 7:00 am

Welcome everyone to the new season on For those of you who are frequent visitors, you will know that we try and do predictions for each show throughout the season. For those of you who are new this year, let us explain what it is we do here:

Every since 2004, the ILMarching Staff has compiled a list of festivals, and then made predictions of which bands will win each show.  In 2007, we expanded those predictions to include not only Grand Champion, but each class winner as well. For the first week or two, the predictions are based on how each band has performed in past years, and any parts of shows we have seen over the summer. This week especially so, because this is the first week of competitive performance. As we get deeper into the season, the predictions will obviously shift toward focusing on the current show, moreso than past performance. Also it should be noted that these predictions are done for fun.  They are by no means a way for this website to side with one band or the other. We know we are not perfect, (we even keep a tally of how many we got right and wrong!), so keep that in mind as you read the predictions.

I hope everyone enjoys the 2009 season, and we wish each band the best of luck. With that, lets get on with this week’s predictions:

Washington Parade and Field: Washington, IL

As is usual on this site, we will only predict class champions for field classes only.  Parade is too difficult to predict.

1A: Tri-Valley has gotten better and better every year we have seen them. I don’t suspect that this year will be any different. That being said, Farmington might give them a run for their money, like they did last year at this show. Our Pick: Tri-Valley
2A: Eureka is coming off of a really strong season last year, and despite their smaller numbers this year, should be good again this year. Herscher may come close, but we still think Eureka will take this one. Our Pick: Eureka

3A: Dunlap and Pontiac both had pretty good years last year, and both look to have good runs this year as well. Dunlap’s two band approach that they started a few years back is starting to pay off, but Pontiac’s clean marching and powerful low brass makes them a formidable foe. Our Pick: Pontiac
4A: Last year, Limestone won this class at Washington, and had a great season over all. But last year they did not have to content with Normal West. With Normal West making a surprise win over UT at ISU last year, they look like the favorite to take 4a.  Our Pick: Normal West
Grand Champion: Since Normal West is not doing the parade portion of this show, GC could come from either Limestone or Pontiac. Also look for Eureka to make a run at it if their parade is up to snuff. Our Pick: Pontiac

Belleville East Marching Invitational: Belleville, IL

1A: Last year’s champion in Fort Zumwalt South is back again this year to defend their class championship.  Look for them to three-peat this year.  Our pick: Fort Zumwalt South

2A: The general consensus on the forums is that Francis Howell North will win this class.  They have a new director this year, so they are a crapshoot.  However, we think they will win 2A still.  Look for Newton and Mater Dei to make a run at the class title.  Our pick:  Francis Howell North.

3A: Class 3A is going to be a very good battle.  Edwardsville, Rockwood Summit and Francis Howell Central are all very good bands, but we will give the nod to the home state band.  Our pick: Edwardsville
Grand Champion: Edwardsville will also take home the Grand Champion trophy.  Our pick: Edwardsville

Metro East Marching Classic: O’Fallon, IL

Class A: 5 band class.  Should come down to either Newton or Mater Dei in this class.  Our pick: Mater Dei

Class AA: Some good bands in this class from both Illinois and Missouri.  Look for last year’s class champion to come out on top again.  Our pick: Rockwood Summit

Class AAA: Last year, Oakville (Missouri) won this class with an astounding 87.3 for the first week out, winning by 10 points.  However, they are not attending this year, so look for this class to come down to either Francis Howell North or Edwardsville.  While we’d like Edwardsville  to sweep both competitions, our pick goes to: Francis Howell North

Grand Champion:Francis Howell North

Lake Park Lancer Joust: Roselle, IL

Last year’s competition was rained out, however, our “crack” meteorological team does not think that will happen this year.  There is a chance of showers, but we don’t think the competition will end up like last year’s.

This year, the Joust plays host to 6 ISU finalists, as well as a plethora of other talented bands.

Class A: Only 2 bands in this class, both are from out of state.  Xavier from Iowa will be performing Gustav Holst’s “The Planets”, and Hobart from Indiana will be performing George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”  We feel this class could go either way (as not much is known on either band), but Our pick: Hobart.

EXECUTIVE EDIT: Now that Wheaton North has been added to this class, Our pick: Wheaton North

Class AA: With the news today that Lockport has been moved to AAA, Our pick: Waubonsie Valley

Class AAA: There are a few heavy hitters in this class: Morton, Prospect, John Hersey, and Lincoln-Way East, just to name a few.  This class is set up to be a dog fight, however, we think this class will go to last year’s ISU Champion.  Our pick: Lincoln-Way East.


1.) Lincoln-Way East

2.) Prospect

3.) John Hersey

4.) Morton

5.) Victor J. Andrew

6.) Naperville North

7.) Waukesha North

8.) Waubonsie Valley

9.) Downer’s Grove South

10.) Lemont

Good luck to all bands this weekend!!  If you’re at Lake Park, come and say hi to Dan.  If you want his contact information, send him an email at  If you are at Washington, go and say hi to Mark.  Send him an email at

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