BY SAM SCINTA WEEKLY REPORTER
The O’Fallon Township High School Marching Panthers took the final step before the Bands of America Grand National Championships this past weekend, taking care of business at the Belleville East Invitational.
The band completed a clean sweep of Class 4A, taking home awards for Best Music, Best Visuals, Best General Effect, Best Percussion, and Best Color Guard, winning the class in the process.
Collinsville would take second while Fox placed in third.
Class 3A competition would be closer, however, as Hillsboro took home Best Music, Best Percussion, and Best General Effect en route to a win over Mascoutah, who would win Best Visual and Best Color Guard.
The Highland Bulldogs would place third.
Class 2A would host the most balance trophy distribution, as the top three all received a caption award.
Murphysboro would win the class, taking home Best Music, Best Visual, and Best General Effect captions. Those are widely regarded to be the most important scoring columns on a judge’s score sheet.
Mater Dei would take second while winning the Best Percussion caption, and Salem won Best Color Guard en route to a third place finish.
Collinsville would take home the award for Best Crowd Appeal.
The grand prize for the evening, however, would belong to the band with the best overall score, and for one more time this season, that honor went to the Marching Panthers.
With Grand Nationals Looming, a final first place finish is unlikely, but not impossible. O’Fallon will relish in the feeling one more time before gearing up to compete for a coveted spot among the top 12 groups.
The greatest stage in high school marching band is now directly on the minds of everyone in the program as the days start to dwindle before the trip to Indianapolis and a shot to make Marching Panther history.