The Lenape Regional High School District has a lot to be proud of, and a recent board meeting showed there’s no slowing district success.
Lenape High School’s marching band and Shawnee High School’s varsity football team were honored at the Dec. 18 meeting for winning first place at the USBands Group II Open competition and becoming South Jersey Group IV champions, respectively.
Lenape students helped the school continue its success in the marching band program by clinching the program’s 29th title, winning the 2019 state and regional competitions in the fall. The state championship was the band’s sixth consecutive win and 10th in the last 11 years.
“They placed second at the national championships and received cadet’s award of excellence for their outstanding effort in creativity, showmanship and overall effect,” Lenape Assistant Principal Gene Jones said.
“In addition, the marching band has had the fortune of being able to showcase their talents in the area in many events such as Medford’s Halloween parade and QVC’s Westchester holiday parade.”
Band Director Steve Waldron said the band played a train-themed show in the Group II competition, naming its performance “Locomotion.” Students performed in conductor uniforms; color guard members were dressed as 1920s-era passengers and the band worked on a built train set.
Selected music included “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” “Polar Express” songs, “Crazy Train” and others.
“It was a lot of fun and enjoyable,” Waldron said. “It was a crowd pleaser. We can’t do it without the support of the district, staff, parents and the students.”
Every new season, Waldron challenges the students to meet three goals in each season: “entertain the crowd, do it at a high level of excellence and have fun.”
They accomplished that.
“They built this legacy at Lenape with their success,” Waldron related. “It doesn’t matter what place they get; it’s the success of the audience, parents and of anyone who comes back and remarks how good of a show we had. Congratulations.”
Lenape’s sister school, Shawnee, was also recognized for the football team’s South Jersey Group IV Championship win against Ocean City High School on Nov. 23 and the South-Central Regional Championship bowl game against Hammonton High School on Dec. 7.
“We’re very fortunate at Shawnee,” Varsity Assistant Coach Tim Welsh said. “We’ve got a lot of pride in the program and we’re very fortunate. We had a lot of great support from the board, administration, Shawnee’s administration and you may have seen Principal Matt Campbell slide over a couple of times during games suggesting some plays.”
The football team met with adversity as it powered through two broken bones, two torn ACLs, one blood clot and a dislocated elbow. Despite the injuries, the team was commended for having “the next man up” step up and fill the position to lead the team to a successful end of their games. The injured players were missed on the field, but with a high-contact sport like football, players came together to support one another in a time of need.
“We win because we’re a great team and they love each other,” Welsh noted. “We promote that unity and it comes out in the end. We’re really proud of that.”
Medford Lakes Board Representative David Stow said he was astonished at the sportsmanship the team showed during the Nov. 15 playoff game against Millville High School.
“Towards the end, it got a little intense, especially with Millville because they had a lot of high hopes because it was their first time there. And there were a couple of plays that didn’t quite go their way.”
As the game went on, Stow continued, the Renegades confided in one another in a group hug to help control the high emotions and finish the game on a good note.
“Even though it was great to watch them win up at Rutgers, it was awesome to see these young men step up and be the gentlemen and sportsmen they’ve been all season long,” Stow concluded.
“I want to give them credit for that.“