Drum Corps International
Competitive Edge: July 2-8
Boston Crusaders had a strong week, earning a tie with Carolina Crown on Sunday in Orlando. Photo by: Drum Corps International

Competitive Edge: July 2-8

by Jeff Griffith

Overall Rankings

Based on average of all scores earned from July 2-8
 1. Bluecoats » 81.900
 2. Santa Clara Vanguard » 81.800
 3. Blue Devils » 81.100
 4. Carolina Crown » 80.700
 5. Boston Crusaders » 79.800 » +1
 6. The Cavaliers » 79.633 » -1
 7. The Cadets » 77.150
 8. Blue Knights » 74.825
 9. Phantom Regiment » 74.590
 10. Blue Stars » 73.875 » +3
 11. Crossmen » 73.850 » -1
 12. Mandarins » 73.225 » -1
~~~
 13. The Academy » 71.383 » +1
 14. Colts » 70.800 » +2 
 15. Spirit of Atlanta » 70.600 » -3
 16. Madison Scouts » 70.480 » -1
 17. Troopers » 68.217 » +1
 18. Pacific Crest » 65.350 » -1
 19. Oregon Crusaders » 64.600 » NEW
 20. Vanguard Cadets » 64.500 » +4
 21. Blue Devils B » 63.700 » +2
 22. Genesis » 63.125 » -2
 23. Music City » 62.500 » -4
 24. Seattle Cascades » 61.050 » NEW 
 25. Spartans » 59.050 » -4
~~~
 26. Jersey Surf » 56.925 » NEW 
 27. The Battalion » 55.700 » NEW
 28. Columbians » 55.675 » NEW
 29. Legends » 55.167 » NEW
 30. 7th Regiment » 54.350 » -5
 31. Pioneer » 53.975 » -4
 32. River City Rhythm » 53.417 » +1
 33. Colt Cadets » 50.463 » -1
 34. Watchmen » 50.250 » -3
 35. Heat Wave » 49.300 » NEW
 36. Raiders » 49.100 » -7
 37. Blue Devils C » 44.200 » -2
 38. Incognito » 43.100 » -4
 Did Not Perform » Gold, Golden Empire, Guardians, Jubal, Impulse, Louisiana Stars, Southwind and Vessel.

Top Caption Scores


What to Watch For

Crusaders finding their stride: Right about this time a year ago, the Boston Crusaders began to make noise, creeping up on The Cadets before ultimately overtaking the Allentown corps the following week. Boston spent this past week making a similar move on Carolina Crown, shrinking its gap all the way from just over one point Monday in Lynn to exactly zero points Sunday in Orlando, where the two ended up knotted at 82.100. At that same central Florida, the Crusaders defeated Carolina Crown and Bluecoats in percussion and color guard, while holding a commanding lead over Crown in the visual caption. 

Upset city in the midwest: After coming considerably close a week ago, Colts defeated Madison Scouts for the first time since 2009 Thursday in Wausau Wisconsin, by an impressie margin of 0.75 points. The following night in Rockford, Illinois, the Dubuque corps built its lead to 1.2 points. However, the Colts nearly saw their advantage disappear in Minneapolis, where it clung to a lead of just 0.05, perhaps foreshadowing that this race is far from over. All things considered, Colts' early upset is one of the more noteable storylines of the young 2018 season, and has been spurred along by consistently strong showings in visual captions. 

Coming out of the woodwork: The Blue Stars burst back onto the competitive scene this week with impressive showings Thursday in Wausau and Saturday in Minneapolis. In Thursday's event, the Wisconsin corps defeated Phantom Regiment for the first time this season, by just over half a point. While that script was flipped in Minnesota, Blue Stars still found success in taking a commanding 1.1-point lead over Crossmen, a corps they had narrowly trailed in each of three previous meetings. The San Antonio corps, however, shrunk that gap all the way down to just two tenths of a point Sunday in Rochester, Minnesota


Vanguard Cadets make an early jump:
In 2017, it took Vanguard Cadets until July 29 before finally overcoming what had been nearly a three-point deficit to Blue Devils B. After having faced an even larger gap at the outset of 2018, SCVC erased it within two weeks, topping its perennial competitior in their only meeting this week, Friday in Sacramento, by just under a point. While Blue Devils B held a slim lead in total visual and finished just a hair behind in total music, Vanguard Cadets' impressive seven tenths lead in general effect made the difference.

Cavaliers sneaking up: Adding to the already airtight race at the top of the World Class rankings, The Cavaliers impressed in their first meeting of the season with the defending-champion Blue Devils. Finishing less than two points from the Devils in Minnesota, the Green Machine came closer than it has to the Concord corps since 2011, which is also the last time The Cavaliers earned a medalist position. The Rosemont corps earned an overall victory in color guard and came close to a win in percussion, however, its biggest deficit came in the general effect caption, which it lost by nine tenths of a point.

Familiar foes in Open Class: Two corps who know each other all too well each opened up their third seasons as Open Class corps out in the Pacific Northwest, with the Columbians edging The Battalion Friday night in Vancouver, Washington, by just 0.35 points. The Utah corps turned around the following night in Renton, Washington, to win by 0.4. Miniscule margins and trading places is nothing new for these two, who split their six meetings a year ago with neither corps winning by more than 0.55 points. 

VesselPacific Crest


Back-and-forth out west:
Two corps who went neck-and-neck in 2017 met again for the first time this season earlier this week, with Oregon Crusaders owning a tight lead of just one tenth of a point over Pacific Crest, Friday in Vancouver. Things turned on a dime Saturday night in Renton, as the southern California corps opened up a 1.6-point advantage over the Portland corps thanks to a sizable lead of 1.5 points in total visual.   

Ahead of schedule: Bluecoats became the first to break 80 points Monday in Lynn, Massachusetts, a noticeably early achievement compared to 2017; The first corps to cross the 80-point threshold a year ago did so on July 8. Throughout the past week, the Canton corps was joined in the 80-point club, in chronological order, by Carolina Crown, Santa Clara Vanguard, The Cavaliers, Boston Crusaders and Blue Devils.

On the starting line: This coming week, three Open Class corps will make their debuts on the 2018 DCI Summer Tour, as Guardians, Southwind and Louisiana Stars kick off their season in Valdosta, Georgia. With these three getting started down south, the only corps left to make its first appearance at a DCI event is International Class corps Jubal, which will head to the United States at the end of the month. 


Upcoming Events

Jersey SurfJersey Surf

Monday, July 9

Tri Cities, WA

Tuesday, July 10

Boise, ID
Sioux City, IA
Valdosta, GA

Wednesday, July 11

Zionsville, IN
Hoschton, GA
Ogden, UT
Johnston, IA

Thursday, July 12

Knoxville, TN

Friday, July 13

Casper, WY
Dubuque, IA
Millbrook, AL

Saturday, July 14

Hiram, GA
Denver, CO | Watch LIVE on FloMarching
Alexandria, KY
DeKalb, IL
El Cajon, CA

Sunday, July 15

Norwalk, CA
St. Louis, MO | Watch LIVE on FloMarching