Wiregrass Marching Bulls take two Grand Champion titles

Wiregrass Ranch High School marching band showed success during the competition season.


Monica Converse

The Marching Bulls after their big win

The Wiregrass Ranch High School marching band won the title of Grand Champions at both their October competitions. The band students competed in the 4A class at the Tarpon Springs Outdoor Music Festival on October 20th and Citrus High School Regional Marching Band Competition on October 27th. 

The band has been working hard since May on their show “Mirage” in order to find success at competitions throughout the season. Winning the Grand Champion title twice is big for the Bulls, as it represents their discipline, work ethic, and talent on the field, while bringing them closer to making state finals.

Flute section leader Rachel Coffey, junior, described her reaction to both big wins.

“It was very rewarding to get those results after months of hard work and countless hours spent in the sun,” Coffey said.

Drum Major Ethan Kuss warming up the band before competing

The competitions consisted of two parts: a preliminary performance and the finals. In both preliminary and finals, they earned their highest overall score for the season, with a finals score of 88.05. However, that was only one step towards their future goal of making state finals.

Drum Major and senior Ethan Kuss stated how this can help their performances later on.

“It simulates the experience of competing in our upcoming state semi-finals competition. We use this opportunity to learn and grow, using the judges’ feedback,” Kuss said.

Band Captain Kurt Smith, junior, discussed how the band prepares before a performance.

“We generally have a morning practice with the whole band before leaving. Then we have a full run of the show out on the football field, and then pack up as quickly as possible and head out,” Smith explained. “Once we get there, it’s right back to getting ready. We begin warm up two hours before we go on and play through the entire show.”

Band director, Mr. Hobbs, explained how hard his students have worked thus far.

“By winning grand champions at our past two competitions, the hard work has definitely paid off to this point. That being said, they know that they have to continue to keep pushing themselves to be the best they can be by the time we get to State Finals in two weeks,” Hobbs stated.

Based on their scores, the band is one step closer to making states.

“We scored higher than Seminole and Cypress Creek (Orlando), two schools that made State Finals last year,” Hobbs said. “We are hoping to continue building on this success and make State Finals at Tropicana Field on November 17.”