Members of Eastern High School’s Marching Vikings indoor program spent the weekend in Wildwood earlier this month for the Tournament Indoor Association (TIA) Atlantic Coast Championships.
It was the school’s final event of the spring 2023 season. The TIA championships took place inside the Wildwood Convention center, which drew nearly 4,000 participants from 11 regions across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia.
Eastern’s Marching Vikings Indoor Guard had a strong regular season with a performance of Eternal, finishing the regular season in second place out of the 63 units in the Scholastic Regional Color Guard Category. After earning a silver medal in the Region 1 Championship in April, the group set its sights on the TIA ACC Championships.
After three days of competition, the Eastern Marching Vikings Indoor Guard finished with in second place with a score of 95.67. This was also the second highest score in the entire TIA competition of 132 teams in the categories of percussion, winds, color guard, dance and twirlers.
Indoor guard coach Amanda Kelly noted her team’s accomplishments this season and described its final performance as an emotional one for her. Kelly is a 1998 Eastern graduate who returned to the program in 2019. Two of her children are members of the drumline.
“Six of our members on this year’s team were completely new to the sport,” she noted. “We kind of started off the year not knowing how the judges would interpret our program, which was called Eternal, to the song My Immortal by Evanescence.”
The team’s show was meant to express grief over the loss of a loved one.
“For the color guard (tournament), it started off with a pool of 27 groups,” Kelly explained. “Every round the groups got smaller. The final round consisted of 10 teams, and from that group, we finished in second place.”
Kelly said her team’s performance is meaningful given the members’ inexperience.
“The team really took it upon themselves,” she said. “They did amazing. They showed so much confidence and we (coaches) talked to them beforehand, to help them focus on breathing and such.
“We sit down, go (through) things mentally and get them into a calm mindset,” Kelly added. “They all handled it really, really, really well with each performance.”
Eastern’s Marching Vikings Indoor Drumline performance was No Clue, a spin on the classic Clue murder mystery game. Throughout the regular season, the drumline achieved progressively higher marks, culminating in a bronze medal at the Region 1 Championship in April.
At the Atlantic Coast Championships, the group moved through the preliminary rounds into the finals and logged its best score of the year, an 88.05, as well as taking sixth place in the competitive Scholastic: A Marching Percussion category.