The next step: Yoe Band looking to earn fourth straight trip to state

Before this marching season began, the goal for the C.H. Yoe High School band was to get back to the state marching contest in San Antonio. The band is now just one step away from making that happen after capturing a division one rating at this past week’s regional marching contest at Groesbeck.


“The important thing is that we were able to get a one today,” said Yoe band director Craig George. “The kids played well enough to advance. We will keep practicing and fine tuning and get better for next weekend and the area contest at Midway.”


The area contest will be moving over from Belton to Hewitt Midway this year. The band is scheduled to march at the same time they did at regionals this past week - 11:30 a.m.


This particular contest differs greatly from the regional contest. At regionals each band is graded based on solely their individual performance, and a majority of the bands actually end up advancing with division one ratings. There were only two bands from Cameron’s group that did not receive a one.


At area, it’s all about how you rank against the competition. Every band that marches Saturday will be ranked from first to last. A random top 10 list will be announced and those bands will once again march again starting at 7:30 p.m. in the finals. The final four from that group are the ones that advance on to the state marching contest from the Alamodome next month.


“We want to make top 10,” said George on where the band expects to end up. “If you make the top 10, you play later on that night and then if you make top 4, you get the invitation down to state. Midway is a big weekend for the band.”


This is familiar territory for the band, which has been in the top 10 the past three tries, and has advanced on to state in each of those attempts. The band will be doing everything in their power to make sure it gets to four in a row come Saturday night.


“We are going to figure out the two or three spots where we struggle the most and we will spend all week long trying to make one of our weakest sections our strongest sections, said George. “We will look at film, go with six rehearsals and get it the best that we can.”


Though two years is a long time, Cameron’s biggest competition at area will more than likely come in the form of Clifton. The Cubs also have a reputation of advancing to state and actually finished ahead of Cameron at both regionals and state in 2015.


Regardless of what may happen on Saturday, George and the rest of his band knows that the work ethic has been, and will continue to be there.


“It has been exciting all the way along,” George said following marching on Saturday. “There is a lot of positive energy in the band. They enjoy marching, playing music and the critique of trying to get better. They are willing to accept the critique. They know they are working towards one single goal, and that is important with any group. They are all on the same page, which is why they were all a little disappointed with the performance today. They didn’t feel it was their best performance yet, so we’re hoping they will take the lessons learned from their first contest and put their best foot forward.”