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The Marching Bearcats want their competitors to think they’re still underdogs.
In reality, band director Patrick Brady said, the 83-member band has adopted the same message as its superhero-themed “My Secret Identity” program:
They will rise to the occasion. And Anderson County will beat you.
The band captured first place at the 4A East Quarterfinals last Saturday, breaking a record for the highest score, 88.92, out of any band competing in the state regionals. It’s also a personal best for the marching band and the highest score in the school’s history.
“I guarantee everyone will be calling extra practices too because we beat them,” Brady said on Monday morning after the band’s victory.
The marching band outscored 13 other teams to receive grand champion at the quarterfinal competition in Berea, including Mercer County, a competitor that beat Anderson County at an invitational just the week before.
Brady said the students went into Saturday’s competition with the mentality to work hard and not to get complacent.
Parents encouraged the marching band as it travelled to Saturday’s competition by holding signs at about every mile marker on US 127 to the I-64 exit in Frankfort, Brady said.
After the band’s victory, marching band parents and students made a victory lap through Lawrenceburg Saturday afternoon, led by a police escort blaring sirens.
“They came off the field, and some of them were in tears, they were hurting so bad,” Brady said of the band’s performance. “Pretty much gave everything they got. They got a standing ovation.”
Brady said students knew they were moving on to semifinals, but Anderson County was the last school to know their actual point total.
“It was just a deafening roar for about 10 seconds, “ Brady said after he announced the band took first. “I don’t know if the parents or the kids are more excited.”
The Anderson County High School Marching Bearcats will compete against 16 other bands in the state 4A semifinal contest on Saturday, Oct. 27 at Barren County High School in Glasgow. Only four bands will move on to finals.
The Marching Bearcats are scheduled to perform last at 3:15 p.m. central time, which is “wonderful,” Brady said.
Bands perform in order of lowest-scoring band to highest-scoring band according to quarterfinal scores, Brady said, and sometimes that system gives judges a preconceived idea of how a band will perform.
Going into this week, Brady said, the band will practice five days a week in an effort to recreate the emotion and passion of last Saturday’s performance.
He said he hopes the marching band will break into finals this year, having been a little less than two points away from finals last year.
“We’re not taking that as a sure thing,” Brady said of his semifinals predictions. “We’re still pretending we’re the underdog.”
Follow the marching band as they compete at semifinals by liking the band’s Facebook page at “Anderson Cty Marching Bearcats.”