1981 Finals-Syracuse, NY


Cavaliers romp over competition
to win April 12 WGI Olympics


By Robert Glaub

(Syracuse, NY-April 12) The Cavaliers powered their way to the WGI title here this afternoon, breaking the two-time WGI champion Phantom Regiment's hold on the title. Up to the final it was a close contest but, when the scores were announced, the Cavaliers has a 1.6 margin over the Regiment, scoring an incredible 97.333, the highest in WGI history.
Second place Phantom Regiment had only a 0.13 margin over the very happy third place Schaumburg Guardsmen.
Fourth place also had cause for jubilation. The Skylarks defeated Holley for the first time in their history.
Fifth place was occupied by the shocked Holley Hawks who had only a .5 margin over a turned on State Street Review.
In Winning the title, the Cavaliers has a 49.733 in the general effect and first with a 48.1 in marching and maneuvering. The Cavies came in first with two out of three GE judges, with the other having the Guardsmen in first. The execution judge had Phantom in first and Cavaliers second and the equipment judge put Cavies on top with Phantom second.
The class A title was won in a come-from-behind victory by Conquest of Wakefield, Massachusetts, a guard that has been together only eleven months. They defeated prelim victor Richfield Springs Kachinas and Florida Banderas. Conquest also won both general effect and marching and maneuvering captions.
The first guard in open class was Blessed Sacrament of Cambridge, Massachusetts. They had a very lively show, featuring a beautiful long-leggerd C.O. with long blond hair that the crowd really enjoyed watching. They featured the flags going under outstretched legs of the rifles and sabres and a couple of kick lines. Very nicely done. They give the impression of a chorus line more than a color guard.
The next guard on was a brand new finalist, Volare from Oxford, Connecticut, clad in bright red tops and black skirts. They performed a rotating oval with a line of rifles inside which became three lines with the rifles in the middle, and a rotating wedge with rifles in the center, and finally the flags tossed the equipment to the rifles lying down on the center line. Very enjoyable show.
This in open class was the Royal Guardsmen of New York City. A nice exchange they did had flags going over a double line of sabres. Their show always has equipment in motion.
The Sheboygan, Wisconsin Buccaneers do a very traditional guard show with very flashy equipment work and little dancing. The have a nice moving center line exchange that went into two rotating circles and then a two-girl rifle exchange across the floor with a line of prone rifles in between.
A crowd favorite was Miller's Blackhawks from Dayton, Ohio, the only class A finalist from 1980 to make open class finals. They had a very fast-paced opener with equipment exchanges throughout. One feature saw the flags exchange over a double line of rifles and a row of sabres. Another was their excellent sabre line. The guard got the first standing ovation of the day when the littlest sabre (eleven years old) did a triple with a flag while spinning around three times herself.
Canandaigua Academy from Canandaigua, New York, on next, performed well to the Bette Midler numbers In The Mood and Big Noise From Winnetka. The featured a rotating block that went into a line and then rotated into a block again.
Coming in seventh were the Marcus-Whitman Wildcats from Rushville, New York. Using hard rock music, they entered the floor very slowly then upped the tempo suddenly. They featured some nice equipment exchanges on the center line with their C.O. doing super high tosses on rifle.
Next in competition were the Sunnyvale, California Royal Sabres, clad in revealing uniforms. They were the only representative of the west coast soft-sell dance-oriented show. They have some very nice formations, including an all-flag moving windmill at the beginning.
The Northmen from North Syracuse, New York present a very lively, happy show and very good music coordination in all areas. Lots of dance work and lots of good equipment work throughout make this guard enjoyable to watch.
The next guard presented turned-on shows in both prelims and finals to drive the crowd out of their minds: State Street Review of Madison, Wisconsin. Set up as a Broadway rehearsal, they start out in a box around the edges of the floor. Highlights of their show, and there were many, include two circles (one inside another) going in and out and then forming a T with an arc on the end and rotating it, a dance line of rifles and then into an arc of two rifle lines with a flag pass through.
The announcement of "Ladies and Gentlemen, from the United States of America, the Skylarks!" set the tone for the rest of the show. Clad in brilliant red, white and blue bell hop style uniforms, their show is set to radio music from the World War II era, complete with radio bulletins. Starting from a tent in the far left corner of the floor, they fan out in radials. They featured a sabre exchange across two rows of flags, a center line flag exchange over kneeling rifles and sabres, two rotating boxes which changed into two circles with with flag exchanges back and forth and a color presentation which brought the crowd to a wild standing ovation.
Holly Hawks came in trying to win their first WGI title ever on their home turf only to fall short. After much buildup this season, winning three WGI regionals, they did not live up to expectations. The do have a very good show (using Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra was an inspiration), but is a bit dull. A highlight of their show has the guard spinning a piece of equipment in each hand, each to a different tempo.
Schaumberg Guardsmen took their toy solder show, refined and improved it, brought it back and with a turned-on performance had the people wishing for more. Entering from the far left corner from their guardhouse, they came forward in a block formation to the center line, then rotate, then go into a rotating wheel with the rifles and sabers in the center, which becomes two rotating circles that become a pinwheel with the guard falling down like a row of dominos. They also use their bodies to form two rotating carousels. A great total show.
The Cavaliers' show is pure drive from beginning to end. From the opening strains of We Will Rock You, through Another One Bites the Dust, Shaft, Whip It, Why Me, and Long Time, the Cavaliers hyped the crowd. They performed exchanges, lay down spins, double rifle spins, rifle/flag combinations. You name it, they do it. The 1981 WGI champion.
The final guard was the defending WGI champion, Phantom Regiment of Rockford, Illinois. Using their traditional repertoire of classical music, their show is enjoyable and pleasing to watch. It features very nice drill patterns that constantly change. They open up with a girl dressed in tux and tails, like a symphony conductor, who comes out first. Some of their drill patterns include a flag crossover into a box and then into a rotating circle with a line of flags in center, flag exchanges with the girls on their backs, an X into a line with a circle of flags around it, a circle of rifles with arcs of sabres and flags and flag exchanges over the back and return. The last number, a popular tune called We Made It Through the Rain by Barry Manilow was quite a contrast to their classical music.
Reprinted by permisson of Drum Corps World

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1981 Finals-Syracuse, NY
Cavaliers, IL97.333
Phantom Regiment, IL 95.767
Guardsmen, IL95.633
Skylarks, CT94.133
Holley, NY 93.733
State Street Review, WI93.200
Northmen, NY98.267
Marcus Whitman HS, NY88.900
Royal Sabres, CA88.267
Buccaneers, WI86.067
Canandiagua Acadamy, NY85.233
Miller's Blackhawks, OH85.000
Royal Guardsmen, NY84.000
Blessed Sacrament, MA81.900
Volare, CT79.867




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