By ANDY MCCAMMON
For three members of the Northview Marching Knights, summer break hasn't been much of a break at all.
Michael Ball, Zeb Butts and Daniel Hayes, all members of Northview's award-winning marching band, have spent the summer traveling the Midwest with the La Crosse Blue Stars, an elite drum and bugle corps based in La Crosse, Wisc.
The group took 10th place in a regional competition July 8 in Indianapolis, and have performed at events in Minnesota, Georgia, Virginia, Texas and several stops in between.
The Blue Stars' biggest show of the summer awaits them in Madison, Wisc., where they'll compete for the Drum Corps International Championship on Aug. 12.
Hayes, a trumpet player and senior at Northview, is the son of Tim and Pam Hayes of Brazil. Butts, son of Mike and Libby Butts of Brazil, plays tuba and will also be a senior this year. Ball, a sophomore and the son of Buddy and Shelly Raderstorf of Brazil, traded in the saxophone he plays with the Marching Knights to play euphonium-- a sort of miniature tuba-- for the Blue Stars.
The three will soon return to Northview, where they'll try to come up with an encore for their banner 2005-06 season. Last year's Marching Knights took fourth place in Class B of the ISSMA Marching Band State Finals and captured a number of other honors on the season.