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As the Marion County Marching Knights left the field Saturday after their performance in the AAAA state semifinals at South Oldham High School, band director Shane Mitchell was smiling.
"That was a good run," he told them.
Unfortunately, for Marion County, it wasn't quite enough to reach the state finals. The top four teams in the semifinals advanced to the state finals, and the Marching Knights finished ninth overall.
"You should still be proud of what you accomplished this season," Mitchell told the band after the results were announced.
He added that the Marching Knights placing in the semifinals does not tell the story of their season.
This was Mitchell's first season as the Marion County band director.
Based on his comments to the band members Saturday, they improved considerably since the band camp held this summer.
"Hold your heads up high. Be proud of what you accomplished," he said. "It's been a fun ride."
Marion County received a score of 76.3.
Each band was also scored on music, music effect, visual and visual effect. According to Mitchell, the Marching Knights scores in those individual areas ranged from 66 to 87, which put them anywhere from third to 13th on the different judge's scorecards.
Marion County received its highest score in the music effect category.
The top four bands in the semifinals were Grant County, Mercer County, Madisonville-North Hopkins and South Oldham. Madisonville-North Hopkins went on to win the AAAA state title.
Saturday's competition ended a little sooner than the Marion County Marching Knights would have liked, but senior drum major Siana Dunn wasn't about to leave without telling her bandmates how she felt.
"I am so proud of you guys, and I love all you guys," she told them.
Dunn said the Marching Knights came together as the season progressed and gave one of their best performances of "Angelic" Saturday afternoon. She also urged the returning band members to be confident in themselves.
"In the end, you don't need to do anything for anybody else," she said. "You need to do it for yourself."
As the marching band season draws to a close, Mitchell reiterated his call for the members to be proud of their accomplishments, but he also reminded them that this isn't the end of the road.
"We've got a lot more stuff to do this year," he said.
AAAA Semifinals results
1. Madisonville-North Hopkins, 89.29
2. Grant County, 86.94
3. South Oldham, 86.65
4. Mercer County, 85.59
5. West Jessamine, 85.5
6. Harrison County, 82.3
7. Allen County-Scottsville, 80.3
8. Anderson County, 78.1
9. Marion County, 76.3
10. Montgomery County, 76.2
11. Madison Southern, 74.3
12. Logan County, 73.2
13. Woodford County, 68.5
14. Hopkins County Central, 67.3
15. Ohio County, 67.0
16. Bullitt East, 66.0