The South Carroll High School Marching Cavaliers band walked over Walkersville High to sweep first place in four categories in the school's first band competition of the season Saturday.
The Cavaliers traveled to Hedgesville, W.Va., for the Hedgesville High School Tournament of the Stars competition, which featured eight bands in four size categories, plus the host school in exhibition.
South Carroll, a Group III band (56 to 80 musicians), scored 78.7, only 1.7 points fewer than the grand champion North Hagerstown High School, a Group IV band (81 or more musicians).
The high score and sweep of first-place awards in band front, marching and maneuvering, drum major and percussion, came as a surprise after confusion struck during the last half of the band's performance.
"It had to do with the placement of the rototom drums on the field," said Brad Collins, the band director. "I think the kids were supposed to retrieve them from the field, but they were excited and forgot, and several of the kids walked [backward] into them."
Parent volunteers quickly removed the drums as the teen-agers continued to march.
"What I'm really proud of is the way the kids caught themselves and kept marching," Mr. Collins said. "They put on a good show, and the score is where I would have liked it to be. It showed the hard work the kids put in over the summer."
Walkersville took second place in the Group III category with a 72.4 score.
The first-place win in the band's first competition was especially gratifying because the 1993-1994 Cavaliers has a large group of freshmen in both band and band front.
"Half of the 16-member band front is new, and there are 14 freshmen in the band," Mr. Collins said.
The 80-member group also has three drum majors who lead the band.
The Cavaliers' next performance will be in exhibit only, as the band plays host at the South Carroll Cavalier Classic at 6 p.m. Saturday at the school in Winfield.