Elizabethton HS community welcomes home “Betsy Band” state champions

ELIZABETHTON, TN (WJHL) – The Elizabethton High School Betsy Band has officially been named Tennessee Division II State Marching Band Champions.

Courtesy: Betsy Band Facebook
Courtesy: Betsy Band Facebook

They were crowned champions around midnight Saturday at Stewarts Creek High School in Smyrna, TN where they competed with marching bands across the state.

“We’re celebrating all week!,” proud parent, Vicky Manuel said.

The band beat out 19 schools this weekend, winning their division as well as color guard, a trumpet solo and the highest percussion award in the state–that percussion title a first in school history, at a state band competition in Smyrna.

“When we finally get here and it just hits you you’re like wow, and then winning it, you really can’t describe it, it’s crazy,” Senior, Grace Roberts said.

betsy-2Warm embraces and colorful signs filled the parking lot, rounding out an emotional homecoming, their hard work and dedication paying off.

“More tears have been shed over band than my entire life here and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” Senior Nathan Hargis said.

Vicky Manuel accompanied her son Ryan on the trip and is at a loss for words.

“It’s very emotional, after being with these kids for an entire weekend and seeing their passion and their drive for this program and the directors that we have is just amazing. He has learned so many life lessons, band is not just a class and it’s not just about band it’s about life,” Manuel said.

This close community now has a lot to celebrate.

“You get to be with all of your friends, I don’t know what to compare it to. It’s just one of the best feelings anyone can experience,” Senior, Jake Larkins said.

The Betsy Band has been a competitive band in our region for years, winning state championships in 2010, 2012, and 2013.

The Greeneville High School band also placed in the top 10 in Symrna Saturday night.

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