Local bands advance to state semifinals

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North and John Hardin finish first and second in respective quarterfinals

By Marty Finley

North Hardin band director Brian Froedge said his squad had a legacy to protect, placing first in the Kentucky Music Educators Association State Marching Band Championships Class 5-A West Quarterfinals every year for close to a decade.

They did it again Saturday at Muhlenberg County High School in Greenville. Froedge credited the students’ hard work during the week and boosters’ ability to get the band ready on and off the field.

“We had a good performance, but we still have plenty of room to improve this week during rehearsal,” he said.

Local bands from Hardin and LaRue counties as a whole performed well Saturday as the four bands representing the area finished in the top five of their respective quarterfinals.

Central Hardin High School finished fourth behind North Hardin in the Class 5-A West while John Hardin finished second to Madisonville North Hopkins in the Class 4-A West Quarterfinals at Stadium of Champions in Hopkinsville.

Band directors for Central and John Hardin, David Centers and Brian Ellis, did not respond to calls made by The News-Enterprise Sunday.

LaRue County, meanwhile, finished third in the Class 3-A West Quarterfinal at Blue Raider Stadium in Columbia, Band director Jaime Smith categorized the majority of his band’s performance as “mediocre” but good enough to gain a spot in the top four, which means the band will get to perform in the latter portion of this weekend’s contest.

“I felt like we had a lot better performance in us,” he said.

Smith, however, commended his group for overcoming adversity after a band mate suffered injuries in a go kart crash, creating a “hole” in the lineup.

The top eight bands from the east and west brackets in each class move to their respective semifinal bouts this weekend, according to Froedge.

The Class 3-A Semifinals will be determined at Louisville’s Eastern High School while Class 4-A bands will compete at South Oldham High School in Crestwood.

The Class 5-A Semifinals, meanwhile, will be contested at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisvile.

Marty Finley can be reached at 270-505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.