BY SAM SCINTA WEEKLY REPORTER
EDWARDSVILLE – If placing near the top 12 at the national championships is the goal for this year’s OTHS Marching Panthers, Saturday’s performance at the Edwardsville Tiger Ambush Classic was an indication that this season could be special.
The marching band opened its competitive slate by winning Class 4A competition with a healthy early season score of 80.35, almost six and a half points better than second place St. Louis Lindbergh. Belleville East placed third with a 71.8.
The Marching Panthers would also dominate the captions, winning individual awards for Best Music, Best Visual, and Best Percussion. Washington (MO) would prevent an O’Fallon sweep, however, by winning the caption for Best Colorguard.
The win in Edwardsville continues an impressive streak of O’Fallon dominance at the event. The Panthers have won the Tiger Ambush Classic every season they have attended since 2010, when they won their first title at the event.
The top three standings from Class 4A would coincidentally be the top three showings from the event as a whole, crowning the Marching Panthers Grand Champion of the meet.
Timberland (MO) would take the 3A crown, just edging out Parkway South (MO) by .05 points. Francis Howell Central (MO) would round out the class in third.
Mehlville would take home the music caption to go along with an impressive win over the 2A class, in which the gap between first and second was over seven points. St. Charles (MO) would take second, followed by Salem in third.
Class 1A would become the only class at the competition to be swept by Illinois schools when Wesclin came out on top ahead of Mater Dei and Effingham.
The Blue and Gold will now prepare to head towards Kansas City when they attend the Blue Springs Marching Invitational, hosted by the perennial power and 2015 BOA Grand National Championship Finalist Blue Springs Golden Regiment.