Drum Corps International
Competitive Edge: June 21-July 1
Crossmen and Blue Stars have been battling it out since the start of the 2018 DCI Tour.Photo by: Drum Corps International

Competitive Edge: June 21-July 1

by Jeff Griffith

Overall Rankings

Based on average of all scores from June 21-July 1
 1. Bluecoats » 74.975
 2. Santa Clara Vanguard » 74.650
 3. Blue Devils » 74.240
 4. Carolina Crown » 73.490
 5. The Cavaliers » 72.971
 6. Boston Crusaders » 71.525
 7. The Cadets » 70.750
 8. Blue Knights » 68.833
 9. Phantom Regiment » 68.257
 10. Crossmen » 67.100
 11. Mandarins » 67.057
 12. Spirit of Atlanta » 66.967
~~~
 13. Blue Stars » 66.214
 14. The Academy » 64.630
 15. Madison Scouts » 64.030
 16. Colts » 63.550
 17. Pacific Crest » 62.233
 18. Troopers » 62.008
 19. Music City » 58.950
 20. Genesis » 58.233
 21. Spartans » 58.000
 22. Gold » 56.833
 23. Blue Devils B » 56.533
 24. Vanguard Cadets » 54.150
 25. 7th Regiment » 53.800
~~~
 26. Golden Empire » 53.100
 27. Pioneer » 50.670
 28. Vessel » 49.375
 29. Raiders » 48.800
 30. Impulse » 48.717
 31. Watchmen » 48.317
 32. Colt Cadets » 47.350
 33. River City Rhythm » 47.300
 34. Incognito » 42.700
 35. Blue Devils C » 37.833
 Yet to perform » The Battalion, Columbians, Guardians, Heat Wave, Jersey Surf, Jubal, Legends, Louisiana Stars, Oregon Crusaders, Seattle Cascades and Southwind.

Top Caption Scores


What to Watch For

Mandarins continuing rapid rise: Just two years ago, the Mandarins were seated on the edge of the Top 20, but are now conceivably looking at a potential finish as high as the Top 10. Last season's 13th-place finish remains the corps' all-time high — shattering the previous record of 16th, set in 2001 — but the Sacramento corps already looks poised to improve even further in 2018. While they've yet to face corps like Crossmen, Blue Stars and Spirit of Atlanta, which appear to be jockeying for similar positions, the Mandarins have held an average deficit of just under two points behind Blue Knights in five meetings. For context, the two were separated by about 5.5 points at the end of last season, when the Denver corps earned eighth place.   

Spirit surging: With just three performances under its belt, Spirit of Atlanta has been a surprise corps, with a couple of impressive early results to show for its first week of competition. In the corps' season debut in Pittsburgh, Spirit defeated last year's 12th-place finisher, Madison Scouts, by 1.5 points, before turning around and scoring within five points of The Cadets. That spread is less than half what it was when the two closed the 2017 season, with the Allentown corps in seventh place and Spirit in 18th. If the Atlanta corps is able to fight its way back into the Top 12, it would be doing so for the first time since 2013.  

Encouraging start for Golden Empire: In what will be its first year attending the DCI World Championships in Indiana, Golden Empire has made an impressive start in 2018. While it is yet to be seen how the corps will stack up against Open Class corps from the East and Midwest, the Bakersfield-based ensemble has been separated from its fellow Southern California corps Gold by an average of just 3.73 points. This could bode well for the corps' Open Class Finals hopes, seeing as Gold has been a Top 12 finisher in Michigan City, Indiana each of the past six seasons.

Bay Area battle: Santa Clara Vanguard opened up the month of July with its third win in five meetings against the Blue Devils, marking the first time since 1999 that Vanguard has earned that many head-to-head victories against its Northern California rival. That season, while SCV won four of the first five meetings; the two ended up tying for the World Championship title when all was said and done. After falling behind the Devils by 0.25 points in Sacramento on June 24, Santa Clara Vanguard has won each of the last two meetings by 0.75, with advantages in all captions except percussion and color guard. 

VesselVessel


Starting off on the right foot: 
Just two performances into its inaugural season as an Open Class corps, Vessel has impressed, with head-to-head wins over Impulse, Watchmen and Incognito in both of its competitive events to date. Vessel also broke 50 points on July 1, marking the earliest such result of any brand-new corps that has debuted in the past five years. 

Déjà vu: Two of 2017's most inseparable corps — Crossmen and Blue Stars — picked up right where they left off in three early meetings, with the San Antonio corps winning each by no more than 0.25 points. Most recently, in La Crosse, Wisconsin, on July 1, Crossmen held a lead of just one tenth of a point, holding slim advantages in general effect and visual while the Blue Stars took total music by just 0.05. The two will meet 12 more times prior to the DCI World Championships, including this coming weekend on Saturday and Sunday

Familiar start out west: While Blue Devils B and Vanguard Cadets may appear lower in the average-score rankings than usual, that's largely due to the fact that neither has performed since June 24. The two common rivals opened the season with three meetings in as many days, with BDB taking all three by an average of 2.38 points. While the average split was slightly smaller, the Concord corps held a considerable early lead a year ago, before Vanguard Cadets surged ahead late in the season to earn Open Class gold. The two will meet again this Friday in Sacramento, for the first time in nearly two weeks.

Madison fending off Colts: The Colts opened up their season on an impressive note, June 23 in Whitewater, Wisconsin, finishing closer to the Madison Scouts than they have in nearly a decade. In the corps' two meetings since, Madison has built its lead up to exactly a point, but still fell to the Dubuque, Iowa corps in the music caption in La Crosse. Madison Scouts and Colts will meet again three times this week — Thursday in Wausau, Wisconsin; Friday in Rockford, Illinois; and Saturday in Minneapolis

Pacific Crest aiming for upset: When Pacific Crest opened up its 2018 season Friday in Oceanside, the corps found itself surprisingly close to the Troopers. While the Capser corps' lead was just 0.65 in its first meeting with Pacific Crest, it opened its advantage to more than a point by the end of the weekend. In three meetings so far, the Troopers average a lead of 1.083 over their foes from Diamond Bar. Troopers and Pacific Crest were separated by less than three points just once in 2017, and haven't switched places since 2012. Coming off of a 21st-place finish a year ago, Pacific Crest's early race with the Troopers is an encouraging sign for the corps in its 25th-anniversary season.


Upcoming Events

TroopersTroopers

Monday, July 2

Lynn, MA
Mesa, AZ
Mankato, MN

Tuesday, July 3

Cedarburg, WI
Cranston, RI

Thursday, July 5

Clifton, NJ
Wausau, WI
Ashland, OR

Friday, July 6

Vancouver, WA
Rockford, IL
Sacramento, CA

Saturday, July 7

Renton, WA
Lexington, SC
DCI Minnesota | Watch LIVE on Flo Marching

Sunday, July 8

Waukesha, WI
Orlando, FL | Watch LIVE on Flo Marching
Rochester, MN

Related News

View all news

by Drum Corps International

Corps news and announcements
Read more

by Dan Potter

Two of 2018’s dynamic soloists
Read more