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The 73-member Franklin High School Band travelled to Jacksonville, Fla. as one of 11 bands selected to perform during the half time show of the Gator Bowl. In addition to performing for 85,000 people at half time, students also marched in the Gator Bowl parade and competed in a field competition, winning Grand Champion in the Class A Division of the competition. Winning first place in all areas of the field competition, the band brought a total of 13 trophies home to Franklin. Photo provided.FHS band brings home 13 trophies from Gator Bowl performance

The Franklin High School Marching Band was given a surprise welcoming home after their trip to the Gator Bowl. The band was met at the Georgia State line by the Macon County Sherriff's Office and other authorities early Tuesday morning for a police escort to back Franklin High School.

The 73 member band travelled to Jacksonville, Fla. to perform in front of 85,000 people during half-time of the bowl game on Monday.

“We are so proud of our Franklin High School Marching Band,” said Mayor Joe Collins before Monday nights regularly scheduled meeting of the Town Board. “They went to Florida and represented Franklin very well, and brought home numerous trophies!”

Superintendent Dr. Dan Brigman commended Mr. Huckabee and the students for their hard work on behalf of the school system. “We are very proud of all of the student's accomplishments under the leadership of Buddy Huckabee,” said Brigman. “We are proud that they represented Macon County and Franklin High School exceptionally well at a national event. We are also so grateful for the support of the parents, booster club and community members for given the students the opportunity to travel to the bowl game.”

After the Gator Bowl parade, and a special field competition held on Saturday, the band was named Grand Champions of Class A division of the competition after taking first place in every category for their “Sunday Crosswords” themed show. According to Buddy Huckabee, band director, the students performed remarkably well and received first place in marching, music, profession, color guard, and general effect. “We brought home 13 of the 18 trophies available in our division,” said Huckabee. “Words can not express the experience, reliving it, can not express the experience we had. Being the only band from the South, within itself was an extremely honor, but being able to represent the South and bring home first place is just amazing.”

In addition to performing during half-time, while the Florida Gators were well on their way to a victory against the Ohio State Buckeyes, and marching with bands from places like California and New York in the Gator Bowl parade, members of the band were able to spend time on the Jacksonville Beach and visit other historical monuments. “Not only did we get to take first in every category, but I am so happy to have had students get the opportunity to see the beach and visit St. Augustine, the oldest city. Some students may not have gotten the chance to do those things without the trip,” said Huckabee.

Huckabee noted how grateful he was for support the community, local businesses, the school system, parents, the booster club, and for the dedication of the students for coming together to make the trip, which has been an ongoing process for the last 15 months, possible.


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