Fort Mill Times

S.C. BAND COMPETITION: Fort Mill, Nation Ford runners-up; Indian Land takes 7th

Lauren Reising and Casey Wood of NFHS perform

at the state 3A marching band finals. Nation Ford came in second place.
Lauren Reising and Casey Wood of NFHS perform at the state 3A marching band finals. Nation Ford came in second place.

Marching Bands from Fort Mill and Nation Ford high schools both finished second in the State Championships Saturday.

Indian Land High School's band finished in the top 10.

Fort Mill, which competed in Class 4A, the division for the largest schools, finished second to Northwestern High School and just missed a first-place victory by less than three hundredths of a point.

Fort Mill teacher and band staff member Jason Ford said the band gave its best performance of the season and the .027 difference between the top two finishers is the slimmest margin of victory at 4A finals since 1979.

Nation Ford competed in Class 3A and finished second to defending state champion Blue Ridge High School. The band from Nation Ford did take home first prize in the Best Music category.

Drum Major Jaclyn Turner said she was excited about the second place victory and thought it was a great finish for the band's first year competing in Class 3A. Nation Ford opened in 2007.

"It was definitely our best show," Turner said. "We came off the field and everyone just started screaming. It was great. After that, we were like, it doesn't matter how we place; What better way to go out?"

After four consecutive first-place wins, Indian Land's Marching Band finished in seventh place at Saturday's State Championship.

The loss was disappointing, Director Mathew Willis said, but he told the students it was important to be proud of what they accomplished.

"What I'm hoping [Saturday] teaches them is it's easy to work hard and hold your head high when you do well," Willis said.

"It's harder to do that when you don't do as well, but that's what it's all about, what we're trying to teach the kids. I think [Saturday] will be just as much a growing experience as everything else we've done this year."

Willis said he's proud of the students and their performance and that he's not sure what caused their low score. He said he suspects it was a lot of small errors.

"You know, you can't win them all and we had a really good season," Willis said.

"We just didn't give the performance we needed to finish first. That's what it all boils down to. There's no doubt in my mind they gave 100 percent. I just think we needed a little more."