STATESBORO, Ga. - The tradition and success of the Thomson High Bulldog Brigade in competition atmosphere and settings prevailed for the second time this year in one of Georgia's most elaborate and prestigious marching events two weeks ago.
The 160-member band traveled to Womack Field on the campus of Statesboro High School on Saturday, Oct. 28, to participate in the 33rd Annual East Georgia Marching Festival and Championships.
This event has been held regularly since 1973 and has involved many schools from Georgia and South Carolina.
In the competition portion of the event, 17 schools from a two-state area performed their halftime shows before a packed house at the newly-renovated Statesboro stadium. Very intense performances in a number of competitive areas were judged by a panel of some of this state's very prominent band and music officials.
The Bulldog Brigade's performance, "A Tribute to an American Art Form-Jazz," proved to be a winning routine again as the unit received five Superior Awards, two Excellent Awards and two Best of Class Awards for AAAA competition.
Schools that competed in this classification along with Thomson High were Tift County, Central Carroll, South Effingham, Lee County, West Ashley High from Charleston, S.C., Lakeside High, Colquitt County and T.L. Hanna High from Anderson, S.C.
Superior ratings were given to Thomson High in the areas of color guard, dance line, majorettes, band and overall performance. Excellent distinction was given to the percussion unit and drum majors.
The Thomson High Majorette squad was surprisingly presented with the Best of Class Award for AAAA competition.
The four-member majorette squad included Captain Katherine Timmerman, Jessica Hawkins, Ashley Kelley and Kristen Price.
"It was very surprising to hear Thomson High called as the Best of Class," said Katherine. "We were very worried at the conclusion of our performance, because when you're out on the field and get finished with the routine, you try to look back and see where you made mistakes."
Katherine said getting ready for the competition was not easy, but it was worth it in the end.
"I almost got tearied-eyed when we were named the Best of Class and all the Thomson High fans stood up and cheered us," she said.
The Thomson High Dance Line captured the Best of Class runner-up trophy for their performance.
Elizabeth Watson, captain of this elite group, was also very ecstatic over the announcement. Lee County won first place in the dance line competition.
The highlight of the Bulldog Brigade's performance was the play of selections such as "Birdland," "Take The (A) Train," the percussion feature of "Echano," "Sing, Sing" and "Georgia On My Mind."
Central Carroll High School won the Overall Sweepstakes Championship for the second time in five years. They won the honor in 2002 also. Richmond Hill captured the runner-up trophy.