Division III’s top two corps prepare for summer

by Michael Carlson

Raiders (Lodi, NJ)
Photo By David Rice

“I wasn’t so sure we were going to make it. No one was more surprised than me,” describes Blue Stars Director Dave Svaleson of the 2001 season. “Tommy and his kids were really good.”

“Even when we got back [home], the kids were saying the Blue Stars were great,” adds Raiders Director Tom Maiello. “The respect level that we finished a half a point or a hundredth of a point behind the Blue Stars is a bigger accomplishment than if we had won without them being there.”

Who says chivalry is passé? The qualities of bravery, courtesy and honor best describe last season’s Division III competition between the Blue Stars and the Raiders. But in a hard fought battle on the season’s final battlefield, it was the Blue Stars that walked away with the division crown — by only five-tenths of a point over the Raiders.

Fast forward to nine months later as both corps prepare for an intense Memorial Day weekend of rehearsals and parades…