Hernandez earns John Philip Sousa Award

Marching Raiders bid farewell to 9 graduating seniors

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

ROCKINGHAM — Angelis Hernandez earned the coveted John Philip Sousa Award during the Marching Raiders’ annual banquet Thursday night at Richmond Senior High School.

Tears and laughter reigned as Mike Ward, band director, scattered jokes and tributes to his students during the two-hour affair inside the school’s cafeteria.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Mike Ward, band director of the Richmond Senior Marching Raiders, presents Angelis Hernandez with the John Philip Sousa Award.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Mike Ward, band director of the Richmond Senior Marching Raiders, presents Angelis Hernandez with the John Philip Sousa Award.

Hernandez, 17, is the battery captain for the Richmond Raiders Marching Band drum line and was recruited to be a member of Carolina Gold. He also was one of two Raiders, along with Kyshon Ewing, to participate in February in the University of South Carolina Honors Band Clinic.

Hernandez plans to attend UNC-Pembroke this fall and continue his music studies. Ward said the John Philip Sousa Award is the highest recognition a band member can receive.

Ward recognized student band members from the Ninth Grade Academy and Richmond Senior High School who earned distinguished or A Honor Roll throughout the year. Ward also took a moment to acknowledge the efforts of each the sophomores and juniors before bidding farewell to his seniors.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Cameron McDonald won Rookie of the Year honors.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Cameron McDonald won Rookie of the Year honors.

Ward’s wife, Liz Ward, distributed copies of Dr. Seuss’ Oh, The Places You’ll Go! or Seuss-isms! to each graduating senior.

Other top awards:

Rookie of the Year

Sophomore Cameron McDonald, Ward said, was ready for marching season to begin in January. He is someone who “wants to get better every day.”

Most Improved

It “just clicked” this year for sophomore Grayson Wilkes, Ward said, and noted Wilkes joined the color guard as well as playing the clarinet.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Grayson Wilkes took home the title of Most Improved.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Grayson Wilkes took home the title of Most Improved.

Ward said initially he didn’t think Wilkes would ever be considered for such recognition. During practice sessions, “I’d kick him out,” Ward said, and “go work on it some more.”

Wilkes did exactly that.

Spirit Award

Sometimes it’s difficult to pick out someone when it’s thought about too much, Ward said. So Ward stopped thinking about it, and then it came to him: No one other than Cordell Nelson could with the Spirit Award.

Ward said it’s next to impossible to determine “who has the most spirit in first block on a cold October morning,” but on the bus and at competitions, Nelson rose to the top.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Cordell Nelson earned the Spirit Award.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Cordell Nelson earned the Spirit Award.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

 

 

 

Filed in: Arts & Entertainment, Education, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News, Rockingham

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