Showdown rocks King’s Fork

Published 1:50 pm Saturday, April 14, 2018

The sounds of the crowd cheering were quickly drowned out by the pounds of drums and the clash of cymbals in King’s Fork High School’s auditorium.

Drum lines, dance groups and flag teams shimmied from end to end of the basketball court, and the crowd was eager to see the next move. Suffolk Parks and Recreation’s third annual Peanut City Showdown thrilled the audience and gave them some Friday night entertainment.

The competition featured 16 performances by eight different schools from all over Virginia and North Carolina. One of those schools was Suffolk’s own King’s Fork High, and they were the only school from Suffolk featured in the competition.

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The seven other schools — Bethel High School, Henrico High School, Hopewell High School, I.C. Norcom High School, North Brunswick High School, Sussex Central High School and T.W. Andrews High School — brought along with them drum lines, flag teams and dancers to compete.

The event was coordinated by Chanel Woods, the founder of For the Love of Band, in conjunction with Suffolk’s Parks and Recreation Department. Woods is also a band coach at Norfolk State University.

“I’m a band geek, and I’ve been doing band for over 30 years,” Woods said. “I started coordinating 15 years ago, and now I’m at Norfolk State coaching. I love seeing young people come together to have fun, and I love watching these kids grow.”

This is the third year that the event had taken place and the third year that Woods has helped coordinate the event.

Spectators had the opportunity to see five drum line performances — Hopewell, Bethel, T.W. Andrews, Henrico and King’s Fork — along with a full band exhibition from T.W. Andrews’ Red Raider band.

Along with band performances, auxiliary teams, dancers and flag teams, had a majority of the performances. T.W. Andrews’ dance team, the Lovely Raiderettes, featured a dance performance filled with music from the 2000s. Henrico’s dance team, Pure Elegance, had a more recent performance paying homage to the new film “Black Panther.”

The dance teams had the opportunity to have a dance battle called “Wreckin’ the Stands.” Three dance teams — Bethel, Henrico and T.W. Andrews — competed against each other for the chance to dance against the reigning champions, King’s Fork’s dance team, Royal Elegance.

King’s Fork kept its title, beating T.W. Andrews, and they also took home first place overall out of all the dance crews.

“It feels good to win. It’s very humbling,” said dance co-captain Brittany Deloatch.

“It was great repeating wins, and it was awesome going against someone we had never competed against before,” said dance co-captain Alexus Wiggins.

King’s Fork’s drum line, the Dog Pound, left with new hardware, too. The drum line won the People’s Choice award. The award was given to the drum line with the best crowd response.

“We are very excited. The crowd was great,” said captain Crystal Tysinger. “I think we played together really well, and we had a lot of confidence.”