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A meteoric rise from Cavaliers' color guard headlined a packed week of scores and analysis.
Courtesy: T. McCourt, DCI.org

Competitive Edge: July 17-23

By: Jeff Griffith
          Release: 07/24/2017
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Current Rankings
Based on average score, July 17-23

1. Blue Devils (+2)
87.963 | San Antonio: 90.100

2. Santa Clara Vanguard (-1)
87.575 | San Antonio: 89.625

3. Carolina Crown (-1)
86.925 | San Antonio: 89.175

4. Bluecoats
86.225 | San Antonio: 88.025

5. The Cavaliers
85.013 | San Antonio: 87.000

6. Boston Crusaders
84.092 | San Antonio: 85.625

7. The Cadets
83.156 | San Antonio: 84.975

8. Blue Knights (+1)
81.445 | San Antonio: 82.525

9. Phantom Regiment (-1)
81.000 | San Antonio: 83.350

10. Crossmen (+2)
79.363 | San Antonio: 80.250

11. Blue Stars (-1)
79.117 | San Antonio: 80.050

12. Mandarins (+1)
76.692 | San Antonio: 78.325 


13. Madison Scouts (-1) – 76.058
14. The Academy – 74.267
15. Troopers (+1) – 73.338
16. Colts (-1) –72.858
17. Blue Devils B – 70.400 | No performances this past week
18. Spirit of Atlanta (+3) – 70.192
19. Vanguard Cadets (+1) – 69.750 | No performances this past week
20. Pacific Crest (-2) – 69.475 
21. Oregon Crusaders (-2) – 69.273
22. Music City (+3) – 67.075
23. Genesis (+1) – 66.900
24. Seattle Cascades (-2) – 66.333
25. Legends (+2) – 65.850


26. Spartans (+10) – 64.700 | First performances since July 3
27. 7th Regiment (+12) – 63.500 | First performances since July 3
28. Gold (-4) – 63.250 | No performances this past week
29. Jersey Surf (-3) – 61.942
30. Louisiana Stars (+3) – 61.100
31. Pioneer (+3) – 59.442
32. River City Rhythm (+5) – 59.600 | First performances since July 8
33. Southwind (-2) – 58.800
34. Guardians (NEW) – 58.538 | Made debut this week
35. Heat Wave – 57.400
36. Colt Cadets (+4) – 56.400
37. Shadow (+7) – 55.800 | First performances since July 8
38. Impulse – 53.700 | No performances this past week
39. Raiders (+4) – 52.600| First performances since July 2
40. Les Stentors (NEW) – 46.675 | Made debut this week


Top Caption Scores


Carolina Crown

World Class
General Effect: Blue Devils (36.275), Santa Clara Vanguard (36.2), Carolina Crown (36.0)
Total Music: Carolina Crown (26.8), Blue Devils (26.675), Santa Clara Vanguard (26.625)
Total Visual: Blue Devils (27.15), Santa Clara Vanguard (26.8), Carolina Crown (26.375)

Brass: Carolina Crown (18.1), Blue Devils (17.9), Bluecoats (17.6)
Percussion: Santa Clara Vanguard (18.05), Blue Devils (17.9), Carolina Crown (17.5)
Color Guard: The Cavaliers (18.2), Blue Devils (18.0), Santa Clara Vanguard (17.7)

Open Class
General Effect: Music City (27.9), Legends, (27.2) Blue Devils B (26.1)
Total Music: Vanguard Cadets (19.55), Blue Devils B (19.5), Legends (19.55)
Total Visual: Blue Devils B (20.15), Music City (20.1), Legends (19.25)

Brass: Blue Devils B (13.0), Vanguard Cadets (12.9), Legends (12.6)
Percussion: Vanguard Cadets (13.4), Legends (13.4), Blue Devils B (13.2)
Color Guard: Blue Devils B (14.3), Music City (13.9) Vanguard Cadets (13.3)

Storylines to Watch

Mandarins

California corps in control: With recent meetings of the top-scoring corps at Tour of Champions series events in Broken Arrow (Tuesday) and Houston (Friday), California's Blue Devils and Santa Clara Vanguard held the top-two spots throughout the week, even if by slim margins. In three meetings this week, Blue Devils led its in-state rival by an average of just 0.458 points, with Vanguard holding an average of 0.6 points of breathing room over Carolina Crown for second place. The two western powers found their most noticeable advantage over the rest of the World Class field in the visual caption.

Telling milestones: With the Blue Devils crossing the 90-point threshold in San Antonio, several corps will likely break 90 in the coming days, as Santa Clara Vanguard and Carolina Crown both finished less than a point off. In four of the last five seasons, the first corps to score 90 or higher came out on top at the end of the season, so while the competition at the top is still red-hot, the Concord corps has certainly put itself in a position to shoot for gold medal No. 18.  

Too close to call: Mandarins' drive to earn a top-12 World Class finish for the first time in the corps' 54-year history continued this week when the Sacramento group outscored the Madison Scouts for the first time ever on Thursday in Belton, Texas by 0.85 points. However, with the men from Madison quickly closing that gap to just three tenths two days later in San Antonio, and with two more meetings this coming week and three total remaining prior to the World Championships, this will likely be one of the more closely-watched races down the stretch.

Maintaining breathing room: Continuing to standout among the Open Class ranks, Music City kept a lead of just over a point against Legends during the two corps' performances Tuesday in Knoxville, Tennessee and Saturday in Plainfield, Michigan. The two will meet five more times before the Open Class World Championships get underway in Michigan City, Indiana, as members of the Legends look to close the gap on a corps they swept in 2016.

Life on Mars: After opening their week a full seven tenths off of Santa Clara Vanguard on Monday in Olathe, Kansas, the Cavaliers' color guard saw its stock rise all the way to first place in San Antonio on Saturday. With a color guard score of 18.2, the Green Machine held a two-tenth advantage over the second-place Blue Devils.


Troopers

Troopers break the tie: Tied on Thursday in Belton, Texas, Troopers and Colts added yet another intriguing race to the World Class standings. The Wyoming corps found itself just three tenths ahead in the race for 15th place in Saturday's regional in San Antonio, with the most significant portion of that lead coming in the general effect caption. Prior to Thursday, the two hadn't met since June 26, when the Troopers topped its opponent from Iowa by a little more than a point.

GE telling the story: At the top of the World Class leaderboard, the general effect caption continues to be airtight, with just two tenths of a point separating the top three corps Friday in Houston and 0.275 separating the same corps Saturday in San Antonio. The Bluecoats, who opened the season with nearly a full-point lead over Carolina Crown in GE sat about the same distance out of the top three in the effect caption Friday in Houston, with that gap closing to 0.45 points after San Antonio's performance.

Flipping the script down south: After finishing just over a point behind Southwind in their first two performances of the season, the Louisiana Stars' second week was the complete opposite, as the corps topped its Alabama-based rival by 2.3 points on Tuesday in Knoxville, Tennessee. While also eclipsing the 60-point milestone, the Louisiana Stars were driven by leads just shy of a point in all three major captions (general effect, music, visual).

Regiment storms back: For just the second time in 10 meetings this season, Phantom Regiment surpassed the Blue Knights in San Antonio by a margin of 0.825 points, after having trailed the Denver corps by more than a point just two days prior. While the Blue Knights scored higher in total music, Phantom Regiment held a significant lead in total visual, while also finishing as high as fourth overall in color guard. The two corps, who have been within striking distance of one another since their season debuts in California, will meet just four more times prior to the DCI World Championships.

Gaining a lead in the Lone Star State: Arguably the season's most hotly contested battle for positioning, the Blue Stars and Crossmen kept a hair-thin margin in their two Texas Tour meetings. Crossmen defended its home turf, defeating the Wisconsin corps in both events by less than a quarter of a point each, after having finished behind the Blue Stars in the two corps' previous six head-to-head matchups. While the Blue Stars have won seven of the 10 meetings this season, the Crossmen certainly seem to have picked up some momentum coming into the home stretch.

Joining the pack: With Championships Week not far away, several western Open Class corps that will be competing in Michigan City and Indianapolis will soon make their way east, with a handful of performance along the way. Blue Devils B, Vanguard Cadets, Gold and Impulse all will make the journey to join the rest of their division, with Open Class-specific events on the horizon in Cape Girardeau, Missouri (July 26), Metamora, Illinois (July 28), Oskaloosa, Iowa (July 29) and White Lake, Michigan (July 30). 

Upcoming Events

Spirit of Atlanta

Monday, July 24
Dallas, TX
Lafayette, LA

Tuesday, July 25
Mustang, OK

Wednesday, July 26
Little Rock, AR
Hattiesburg, MS
Cape Girardeau, MO

Thursday, July 27
Birmingham, AL

Friday, July 28
Metamora, IL
Dothan, AL
Nashville, TN

Saturday, July 29
Powder Springs, GAWatch LIVE via FloMarching
Johnsonburg, PA
Oskaloosa, IA

Sunday, July 30
Winston-Salem, NCWatch LIVE via FloMarching
White Lake, MI

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