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A Rainy Day on the Banks of the Wabash

This past Saturday, September 10th, Spirit of Woodlan performed in their first competition of the season. The “On the Banks of the Wabash” Marching Band Competition was held at Bluffton High School. Woodlan was scheduled to compete against Adams Central and Whitko High Schools in Class D competition. The students met at the school at 8am for a 4-hour practice before lunch. Lunch was provided by parent donations, and the students enjoyed their meal together behind the football bleachers. They had a lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs, pasta salad, chips, fruit, and cookies. After lunch, Mr. Slattery reminded the students of expectations of competition days before they boarded the buses for Bluffton.

The students enjoyed lunch together after a tough morning practice.

Cory VanHorn was especially excited for their first competition, lol!

Mr. Slattery going over expectations with the students


After arriving at Bluffton High School, the students unloaded the buses and semi. It was very humid and muggy with rain clouds threatening in the not-so-far-off distance. The students changed into their uniforms just as a pop-up rain shower began. It quickly down-poured, and the students returned to their buses while the staff and adult volunteers gathered inside the semi to ride out the rain. Being in full uniform, the students reported that it was rather hot and sweaty on those buses! After the rain let up, the students quickly moved to warm ups. Spirit of Woodlan was originally scheduled to take the field second, after Adams Central. However, due to the rain and delays, Woodlan was ready to perform and Adams Central was not, so Woodlan moved up in performance order.

Staff and parent volunteers took shelter in the semi

It really poured!

Everyone please take note of the hard-worker that is Cody Groves. Those legs sticking out of the cart in the back with the brown tarp? Those belong to Cody, who was hard at work making sure everything was plugged in and ready to go!

As hot and sweaty as it was on the semi, the buses had to be so much worse!

The rain let up and Woodlan was ready to compete! Drum Majors Josiah Thomas and Camdyn Garrison led the way.

During warm-ups


The students were greeted on the field by enthusiastic cheers from the parents, who were all very excited to see this first performance. Spirit of Woodlan performed the first two movements (“War” and “Peace”) of their show, “Portals of Arcadia”. They had a good performance after having a chaotic day with the rain and change of schedules.

Drum Major Josiah Thomas

At the awards ceremony, Spirit of Woodlan was awarded caption awards for “Best General Effect” and “Best Visual”. Woodlan won the first place award, Whitko Marching Pride took second place, and Adams Central Squadron of Sound placed third. After the awards ceremony, the students loaded buses and returned back to the school for an early-evening dismissal.

Spirit of Woodlan drum majors Josiah Thomas (L) and Camdyn Garrison (R) with guard section leaders Kacie Bowers (L) and Katie Chlebek (R) during the awards ceremony


This week, Spirit of Woodlan will perform their show during half-time of the Woodlan Homecoming Football game against Southern Wells on Friday, September 16th at 7pm. They will compete in their second competition of the season at DeKalb High School on Saturday, September 17, 2022. Open Class D/C performances begin at 5:40pm with Woodlan performing at 6:25pm. Awards will begin at 9:00pm. Please consider coming out to support these kids and cheer them on at both the Homecoming football game and at DeKalb on Saturday. See you there!



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