August 12 Report: Cadets Victorious in Quarter-Finals

More tough competition ahead

Hello Holy Name

I'll begin this report with the big news: Last night at Lucas Oil Dome our Cadets emerged victorious at the DCI championship quarter-finals.

The top three scores were 1. The Cadets: 97.350; 2. Blue Devils: 96.850; 3. The Cavaliers: 96.450. A complete listing of scores and the scoring breakdowns can be found at

cadets 2011

The victory was very popular with the fans present in Indianapolis, as those of you watching the competition in your local movie theaters can attest. It was even more popular with our Cadet Alumni who have been arriving in Indy in increasingly larger numbers.

Maroon color, pride felt

Just a word of caution though before we go overboard with any celebrating. Our kids now face even more determined opposition in tonights' semi-finals and Saturday nights' championship competition from the corps they outscored last night, and other great corps nipping at their heels as well. Our 2011 Cadets are definitely up to the task. The question is will their efforts be rewarded by a totally different judging panel tonight, and another on Saturday night. One step at a time!

There was a huge roar from the audience last night when the scores were announced which was music to our ears. As we exited the stadium we passed The Cadets' merchandise table, and people were packed around it purchasing everything they could get their hands on. Maroon has become an especially popular color in Indy this week. You can see it wherever you go: on the streets, in hotels and restaurants, and most especially in the stadium.

Hugh Mahon, Bob Nadig, and I were guests of Chris Hartowicz in The Cavaliers' alumni private box at the stadium. We can't thank them enough for their warm hospitality and their generous expressions of congratulations. The Cavaliers (and the Blue Devils as well) still have horses in this race, and we can feel their breath on our backs. This contest will definitely not be over until the final scores are announced on Saturday, but just imagining how the kids must be feeling at this moment makes all our hearts beat a little faster.

The corps is housed at a school located a considerable distance from Indianapolis (as is virtually every other corps), so we have had no personal contact with them to date. That's probably a good thing since it's important at this point for them to stay totally focused on the job at hand.

Memories in the making

Tomorrow morning is the traditional finals' day breakfast at their housing site. The corps will be sending a bus to pick up our alumni to transport them out to the housing site. This is always a very emotional and inspirational event.

Parents, alumni, and friends are invited out onto the field where The Cadets are seated in the grass. George Hopkins customarily opens up the program with words of thanks to the parents for entrusting him with their "children." Then many of the more self-assured Cadets who in most cases are aging out, stand to express their poignant feelings about their special time as a Cadet, the strong feelings they have developed for their fellow Cadets, their gratitude to their fellow Cadets for their friendship and support, to their staff for all they have been taught and all they have learned, and to George Hopkins who made it all possible and who awakened their awareness of the great things within them that had laid dormant until they clothed their talents, their hopes, their aspirations, and their sense of self in the maroon and gold of a Cadet.

The corps banquet, scheduled for Sunday morning, will follow the championship finals on Saturday, and that you can be certain will be an even more emotional, joyful, and beautiful event, whatever the results of the previous night's competition might be. The sad part of that mostly joyful event is always the aging out ceremony. Sad for The Cadets moving on to begin their lives, sad for The Cadets they are leaving behind, sad for the Cadet staff who have come to think of these young men and women as family, and sad for the alumni present whose memories drift back to their own final days in our hallowed uniforms.

For The Cadets, today will be like most days this summer. They will wake up, go through their flex and endurance routine, then rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse some more. Like all the thousands of Cadets who preceded them they know that you NEVER let up, you NEVER give up, and you NEVER cease trying to be the best you can possibly be.

Camaraderie rekindled

For the alumni here in Indy the focus today is pretty much on socializing with each other, and most particularly with fellow Cadets and friends we seldom get to see face to face. My calendar for the day begins with an 11 a.m. brunch with Steve Vickers of Drum Corps World and his staff of writers, then a 1 p.m. lunch with some fellow Cadets and friends from The Cavaliers, The Kilties, and The Troopers.

Following that we will head over to The Palomino, an upscale bar and restaurant, for The Cadets alumni festivities, and hopefully, a quick visit with The Troopers alumni at their gathering, which unfortunately usually takes place about the same time as The Cadets alumni reception, but at a different location.

We will be in the stadium sometime between 4 and 5 p.m. where the whole nerve-wracking competitive process for The Cadets begins again. The Cadets are on last tonight based on their victory last night.

Cadets support solid

And so championship week is far from over. If anything, the difficult part for the remaining corps is just beginning. Our Cadets have brought us all to a new pinnacle of pride, and we are very grateful to be privileged to be present here in Indianapolis to bear witness to their greatness and the new chapter of Cadets history they are in the process of writing.

We are with you Cadets: cheering for you, admiring you, and supporting you whatever the next few days might hold in store for you. We know that you now understand what it means to be a Cadet, and that you can will yourselves to rise above what you previously might have thought only a few short months ago was beyond your reach. NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is beyond the reach of a Cadet! We believe this with all our hearts, and now you have shown the world why we believe in the possible and in what those words and that philosophy of life means.

For Holy Name shall always be...




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