Rams – Marching on a High Note

After three long months, the LHS marching season has finally come to an end.


Courtesy of Jennifer German

The marching rams hyping themselves up before performing.

“Drum majors, Elyce Gilstrap and Eliza Moore, please signal when your band is ready.” The announcers voice roared through Darling Stadium. Elyce and Eliza signaled to the judged that they were ready and turned back to face the band. Elyce started counting “one” this is it. “two” our last competition. “One, two”, horns up, “three.” Let the show begin.

The start of the marching season was in the beginning of August. Under the instruction of director T. Jonathan Hargis and color guard coach Dawn Morris, the Lafayette marching rams took part in four major events for the season and took home five different awards.

The marching rams following behind Mr. Hargis as he takes to the stadium to perform.

September 24th marked their first competition at Hermitage High School in Richmond, VA. Only six weeks into the marching season, show was far from perfect. Despite having little practice on the closer, and guard not having finished choreography, the band was still determined to make the most of it. There were five other bands competing against LHS in the 3A division. After exiting the field and receiving a stern talking to by Mr. Hargis, the band was dismissed and sent to the stands until judging. Once judging started, band section leaders were asked to take the field. To much of the band’s surprise, the marching rams earned best marching and placed 3rd for the 3A section. This accomplishment left the rams yelling and cheering all the way to the busses where they were given one last speech and heading home. Marching season officially started, and the marching rams were starting off strong.

Band members Chase Onizuk and Fenix Aguilar practicing their iconic flip during the closing song “I wanna be like you”

The second competition took place at Gloucester High School on October 8th. The rams were competing on the same field as the Jamestown and the Warhill marching bands.  The marching rams were once again competing in the 3A division, this time against Warhill. After being escorted around by Hargis’ son, the marching rams were ready to take the field. Once the band was officially off the field, they stood outside the gate to watch Warhill perform their show before heading back to the busses and earning another speech from Hargis before putting everything away and heading back to the stadium. Judging time had finally come and the section leaders were once again back on the field. Although the band wasn’t the best in any specific category, they did earn 3rd place for the 3A division and went home with yet another trophy to display in the band room.

Drum majors, Elyce Gilstrap and Eliza moore, listening to Hargis give yet another speech to give the band motivation before playing.

The VBODA State Marching Assessment was held at Wanner Stadium on October 27th. The band met in the band room 1st block and practiced for the entirety of the period before heading to the stadium. Despite this being the most important moment in the marching season, the rams had to face their biggest challenge… the wind. Every gust of wind almost blew off the hats of the band members. The flags got tangled around the guard and every minor toss sent them flying. The wind had now become their biggest obstacle and presented itself during the event that would define the entirety of the marching season and the band itself. The band performed to the best of their abilities but had their hiccups. The band stayed behind to watch Jamestown perform before reloading the busses and getting back to school. Getting back by noon, the marching rams ate their lunch and received news that they earned a 2 for their performance, barely short of a superior.

The last competition took place October 29th, hosted by Kecoughtan High School, at Darling Stadium, in Hampton. Lafayette was competing in the 2A division with Jamestown and Warhill competing in separate divisions. After taking a lunch break at Patrick Henry Mall, the band warmed up and prepared themselves before taking the field. Once off the field and receiving one last talk from Mr. Hargis, the band were sent to the stands to watch the rest of the competition. Judging had come around and the marching rams won an award for best marching and another for best visual effect. However, to all their disappointment, the rams ended up tied for 4th place.

The marching season didn’t end on the note they wanted, but it was still a season that became filled with memorable moment that they’ll never forget.