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Swarms thieves win tops in class; Caribbean trip earns SHS second
W seb trophies fix
Members of Southeast Bulloch High School’s band “The Swarm” show off their “Best in Class’ Trophy they won last weekend. - photo by ROGER ALLEN/special
    Last weekend, during the 28th Annual Coastal Empire Classic Marching Band Competition, 15 bands from as far away as Jacksonville and Orlando met at Effingham County High School’s Rebel Field to do battle.
     When the last horn had played, the bands from Southeast Bulloch and Statesboro High Schools walked away with some of the top awards.
     Before the competition started, everyone in attendance endured a 90-minute torrential blast of rain. Finally, the marching band competition began. After the four Class A bands had played, Southeast Bulloch’s “Swarm” and Statesboro High’s “Blue Devils” took their turns to perform.
     It was first band competition of the 2009-2010 season for the “Swarm.” Therefore, it was also the unveiling of their new show, “The Heist.” Needless to say, directors Matt Olsen and Joey Mitchell were somewhat nervous about how the judges and the crowd would respond.
     Throughout the show the crowd responded with laughter and applause. The band and their dance line, “The Stingers,” told the story about the theft of an enormous diamond. The unexpected ending of the show was the Swarm’s coup-de-grace, which stunned the crowd.
     Then, it was the Statesboro’s “Blue Devils” turn to shine. Joe Ferguson, the director of Statesboro’s band, described their show as having a “Caribbean Island” theme. They took the field, and played a nearly flawless show. As they left the field, the crowd applauded appreciatively.
     After watching the Class 3A & 4A bands (including powerhouses South Effingham and Richmond Hill) play, it was time for the Effingham High School band to perform their 2009 show in an exhibition for the crowd. Needless to say, their performance was roundly applauded by the somewhat partisan audience.
     Next came time for the awarding of the trophies. When it came to Class AA, they first announced ratings. Then, the “Best Of” trophies were awarded for the many parts of the bands (Dance Line, Color Guard, Drum Line, Music, Visuals, General Effect, and Drum Major). Here, SEB won four “Bests,” while SHS received two “Bests”.
     Finally, it was time to award “Best In Class.” After “Second Place” was awarded to Statesboro High, it was clear what would happen next. The announcer said, “The winner of Best in Class AA is the Swarm from Southeast Bulloch High School.”
     Bulloch County’s two marching bands took first and second places in the first regional competition of the year.

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