Picture credits to Johnny Horne (Thank you for the amazing photos this season, we’re so grateful for them!)

CFNN Reporter Savannah Browne

The leaders of the band were tired, and their eyes were growing old, but the Marching Colt Seniors entered their final High School competition this past weekend ready to leave their living legacy to the underclassmen. Your Cape Fear Marching Colts took the field at Cary High School on Saturday evening. The competition was tough, but the Band Played On and, like Tom Petty, did not back down.

The Trophy haul for the 2021 Season.

The Colts took home a load of trophies for the 4A class. The Band took home 3rd place Music, Visual, and Percussion, while the award-winning Color Guard took home 2nd place in class 4A and also scored higher than any of the 5A color guards. This is a huge accomplishment and doesn’t happen very often in the color guard world. 

“I think we really gave it our all this weekend since it was the last performance, and it really paid off,” said senior and trumpet section leader, Keanu Barnhill.  Alongside Erin Holmes, the other trumpet section leader, Keanu has been incredibly excited but also sad about his final competition and the end of the season.

Band Director Mr. Hartman heaped plenty of praise on this year’s seniors.

“The seniors of the Class of 2022 are some of the most resilient and dedicated individuals I have ever had the pleasure of teaching,” said Hartman. “Despite going to school during a pandemic, having a new band director, and all of the challenges that both of these situations separately and collectively create, these students never skipped a beat.”

Seniors (L-R): 1st Row: Rayf Dunning, Erin Holmes, Adriel Alvarez, Kevin Radler, Leanna Hodgkinson, Keanu Barnhill 
2nd Row: Taija Phillips, Olivia Vreeland, Sydney Pate, Shelby Horne, Ethan MacKenzie 
3rd Row: Kyla Mayhew (junior drum major), Alexis Fowler, Savannah Browne, Anissa Reese

The end of the marching season becomes very emotional for a lot of the marchers. Seniors will be graduating soon and leaving for college, which marks the end of their time in the band. Most seniors look back fondly on their time with the Marching Colts and leaving is bittersweet, but it’s also incredibly hard on the younger students who looked up to these seniors as mentors and friends.. 

“It’s hard because everyone that I’ve marched with since I was an 8th grader is going to be leaving,”  said junior marcher Gabe Garcia. “That means the program will be changing a lot. It’s been difficult adjusting to all of the changes in the marching program between getting a new band director and the off-season due to Covid-19. It’s like the entire program is restarting, which is weird, but also exciting for future seasons.” As one who began marching before he entered high school, Gabe has a very strong bond with a lot of the senior marchers.

The underclassmen have repeatedly expressed their thankfulness for the seniors and their dedication to this marching program over the past 4 years. Here’s to one last competition, one last show, and one last run, for your Marching Colt seniors!

“Their dedication to the band program at Cape Fear High School is immeasurable,” said Hartman. “It will be hard to imagine them not being on the field marching for the 2022 season, but I know that they will be successful in life wherever they each respectively decide to go after graduation.”