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Franklin Central and North Central Rematch Headlines Packed Best of the Midwest

Center Grove Sound System has their preview show (Nathan Ensley)

While last week may have looked like the status quo from the Indianapolis circuit, when you take a closer look at the action from Saturday, things got a lot more interesting. Carmel, Franklin Central, and North Central went down to the wire, with all three in peak form early in the season. It took until finals for Carmel to edge ahead (and even that margin was close). Now we get to see how FC and NC respond to the feedback and who will make the improvements to jump ahead in the year-long battle. This is all without mentioning the addition of several other mixed power houses to the field. Center Grove will also feature a dominant Fishers Sound group coming off a strong win at Plainfield going against Franklin Central High Voltage. This will be judged by an incredibly qualified judging panel, featuring choreographer April James, who has Los Alamitos and Center Grove in her portfolio, joining the dominant director of Los Alamitos, David Moellenkamp.  Now that we have the storylines set up, let's take a look at each group that will head to Greenwood, Indiana on Saturday. 

Mt. Zion Swingsations

Mt. Zion, out of Illinois is where one of the best to ever do it, Dwight Jordan, got his start. He continues to choreograph them, which makes them one of the best dancing groups in the country almost every year. Despite this fact, their last comps against Indiana groups haven't gone exactly as they would expect. They took fifth place at a heavily stacked Franklin Central competition last season and then placed below North Central at Show Choir Nationals to conclude last season. This doesn't mean they won't be a threat to jump any of the groups they faced in the past, it's just going to be nearly impossible as almost every group in Indy has come out and raised their performance this season. They started the season with a second at Troy Buchanan, a solid opening result. All will depend on if they can find a way to outclass some of the best in Indy.

What is a step forward?

Prove they can beat groups in Indiana this season. They have been able to in the past but they have to do it once again.

Fishers Electrum

#8 on HRSC Mixed Indy Rankings

Fishers Electrum performs at Plainfield (Nathan Ensley)

Electrum is a really interesting group. They are highly-regarded and widely considered ready to get into the Power Five at basically any point, though if you look at their past results, their record raises some questions. A big question mark was their inability to win last season. They looked to buck that trend and started this year off well with a second place against fifth-ranked Zionsville. Now, they get a chance to continue their back-and-forth battle versus Counterpoints from past years. They will be a group to watch here, but this is a stacked field so they will have to work their tails off to make noise here, just the same as every group. If they can show up in this comp, they will probably shoot up the rankings and start to get some of the comp results that should follow a group of their caliber. 

What is a step forward? 

To get into the fight with Franklin Central and North Central and make them sweat. If they can make a case to belong in this fight, they can make major waves at Franklin Central later this season. 

Carroll Magic

#10 on HRSC Mixed Indy Rankings

Carroll Magic performs at Ball State (Nathan Ensley)

While things didn't start off as Magic had likely planned, there is still a lot of the season left to go for Carroll. They faced extremely strong groups in the early part of the season in both the Indy and Ohio circuits. This weekend will be no different, where they will actually face higher-ranked competition in Indy than they did in their past comps. Don't take that as a belief they will be out of the fight on Saturday - on the contrary, they have a real shot to get back to the front of the fight against some amazing groups. They get feedback in the first two competitions, then get feedback at their own home comp which they will be able to input and pull into their show. If they were able to effectively use that feedback, this will be like a relaunch for their brand new season. 

What is a step forward? 

Make strides forward from their shows in the past and implement new feedback. That will allow them to become the best possible group they can here and later in the season. 

Franklin Central F.C. Singers

#3 on HRSC Mixed Indy Rankings

F.C. Singers at Pike (Nathan Ensley)

The biggest addition to this competition this year, FC looks to dethrone the winner of the last two BOTMs, North Central. FC will help close the night, which allows their show to be fresh in the judges mind. FC looks like favorites, as they have owned NC over the post-covid era, with FC coming out on top each time. However, Indy is not the same this season as in the past. The pack is closer, and if rumor is to be believed, the top three at Pike were razor close with each other, which means that FC was a few points off of knocking Carmel from the top spot, but in the same vein a few points off from being third. They have proved that their new style is not just viable and able to win, but able to even get them to the top of the circuit. To compete with the rise in competitiveness, they seem to have added some faster and more Indy-style dance sequences to their show since preview, making it an almost Indiana/Iowa hybrid. They are deadly in every facet and in the eyes of most, are the favorites to walk away with the grand championship on Saturday. They will likely keep learning from their feedback and push on to prove that they belong as the best in Indy. 

What is a step forward? 

Sweep it, make it clear that the only group you have yet to take down is Carmel and that they will soon be next. 

North Central Counterpoints

#4 on HRSC Mixed Indy Rankings

Counterpoints perform at Pike (Nathan Ensley)

North Central has dominated this event the last two seasons, not dropping a caption. Their iconic hype song and all-out energy has historically played well in one-and-done competitions. Though this year they will try to three-peat with a much more stacked field than in the past. Counterpoints threw down the gauntlet last week, competing within points of FC and Carmel, making themselves a factor at Pike where they usually struggle early in the season. Their new choreography looks to have revamped their group and the screens add a layer that many other schools do not create with their own video boards. North Central's use of video helps tell the story and really highlights the performers, like an interactive backdrop. If they can stay on the current pace of cleaning and improving later in the season, they will be very tough to beat week in and week out. 

What is a step forward?

Beat FC, make it clear you belong further up the rankings, make it clear they are here to stay and this is the new CP standard. 

This field is stacked and we as a team believe this could go multiple ways on Saturday. As for now, we have our best predictions at this time. 

GC: FC Singers (BV)

1RU: NC Counterpoints (BC)

2RU: Fishers Electrum 

3RU: Mt Zion Swingsation 

4RU: Carroll Magic 

Who do you think will win?

  • Mt Zion Swingsation

  • Carroll Magic

  • Fishers Electrum

  • FC Singers

Single-Gender division

Carroll Select Sound

Select Sound has started the season with two second-place finishes. That is exactly how they started last season and after that they ran the table. That will be a difficult task this season as they will have to defeat some major foes here at CG. This is also a one-and-done competition, so they will have only one shot to do it. This is the group that defeated Los Alamitos womens group last season, so likely they will be a major player in the eyes of the judging table. Beyond that, I have very little guess as to where they will stand on Saturday. It will be a battle regardless of where they fall.

What is a step forward?

Getting a podium here and making Fishers and FC sweat. They could make a major impact on their season by doing so.

Fishers Sound

#2 on HRSC Single-Gender Indy Rankings

Sound at Plainfield (Nathan Ensley)

Indy has been one of the places that embraces pre-show chants and hype songs. Many large groups have iconic intros that create a mystic around their show year in year out. One of the most memorable is the chant “S.O. U. N. D. Fishers Sound!” It's a reminder that you are about to see excellence, it's a reminder you are going to have to go through this group, often yelled out loud and proud. Their show this year is fantastic and they won on debut at Plainfield against two ranked opponents. They will be the favorites here, but they will have much stiffer competition in this field. They have found ways to win in this caliber of competitions, which I have no doubt they can do again. I just want to wait and see if that is true this year. 

What is a step forward? 

Winning a full sweep and making it clear that they are on top again to get ready to try and take back the number one spot in a week or so. 

North Central Descants 

#8 on HRSC Single-Gender Indy Rankings

NC Descants perform at Pike (Nathan Ensley)

North Central Descants looked poised to be more competitive than in past years. Their set is far more fun and feels like a return back to what the Descants vibe is - a strong and amazing group that is able to be back in the top ten. Since transitioning to director Jared McElroy, they have been slowly getting back to form they had in 2018 where they placed second at Show Choir Nationals. They will still have some growing pains to get all the way back to their fullest potential, but I consider this all a stepping stone to the future where they can get even closer to their maximum potential. It will be tough to win here, but I think they can be at least competitive at this competition. 

What is a step forward?

If they can get a podium at this very stacked field, they will have taken a very strong step forward in their young season.

Franklin Central High Voltage

#4 on HRSC Single-Gender Indy Rankings

FC High Voltage at their preview (Nathan Ensley)

High Voltage looks to be a massive threat this season, already making a statement by being tied with Carmel going into finals. They look to continue this trend by pushing our number two Fishers Sound - who we believe is not just one of the best groups in the state, but the country. This is going to be a fantastic test for them, it will take pretty much all they've got to take down another major power. If they can do so then they will gain major respect and notoriety beyond what they already have. I have faith that they can come out with the fire and passion required to get the job done. 

What is a step forward? 

Win. Don't care how or why, just win. That will be what they are looking for. 

Mt Zion Les Femmes

Les Femmes started out the season with a victory in the single-gender division and a spot in finals at Troy Buchanan. They will likely be a threat here as well. I just don't have a ton to go off of for their competitiveness here. The last Indy group they faced was Descants at Nationals, where they placed above them, but not by a lot. So I will call them the unknown quantity at this competition. Whatever they end up doing will help define where they stand.

What's a step forward?

Make yourself a known entity. If they can do well here then they will raise their national profile a lot. 

 This field is stacked and we as a team believe this could go multiple ways on Saturday. As for now, we have our best predictions at this time. 

CG: Fishers Sound (sweep)

1RU: FC High Voltage 

2RU: North Central Descants 

3RU: Carroll Select Sound 

4RU: Mt Zion Les Femmes 

 Who do you think will win?

  • Carroll Select Sound 

  • Fishers Sound

  • North Central Descants 

  • FC High Voltage

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