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Graduation 2021

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G raduation is a time for students to cel- ebrate their actions and achievements over the previous four years. Santa Cruz High School senior Keegan McCoy will have a lot to celebrate as he receives his diploma this year. On May 15, McCoy hit the pinnacle of success amongst peers in his field when he took first place in the Masters division of the California Drum Major Champion- ships. "You always want to strive for perfection, even though you can't get there," McCoy said. "This is one of those things I was striving for, but I knew I might not be able to get it. It feels like a dream come true." The California Drum Major Championship is similar to the state title for marching band con- ductors, and the Masters division is the highest of the three. McCoy is the first drum major from Northern California to win the championship in three or four decades, according to SCHS Band Director Christy Latham. For McCoy, this achievement was the culmination of hard work throughout his high school career. Since he was a freshman, he wanted to be the drum major for the SCHS Marching Band. He fi- nally got his shot during his junior year, but little did he know he would conduct a finish like this. All year, McCoy had placed just behind Arcadia High School drum majors Kaden Cho and Gabriel Meyer-Yen. When the state champi- onships rolled around, McCoy managed to switch it up on the com- petition and take the top spot. "This final competi- tion, Kegan just lit a fire and took it away," Latham said. McCoy's game plan was to give the judges something fresh to watch. Typically, a drum major will work on one routine for the competi- tion season. McCoy had done that but decided to change a few things before the final competi- tion to see if he could boost his score. The state champion hopeful changed the music on his routine to better please the judges. He also added some new moves to the routine. Some he had been practicing all season, others he made up himself. "I think that's what helped push me over the edge to get state champion," McCoy said of his altered drill. "I re- ally enjoyed the routine I was doing before, but I kept getting the same score no matter what I improved. I wanted to show something I think they would appreciate more. I kind of threw in a random card of the deck and hoped it might shuffle the deck a little bit." While McCoy was cer- Santa Cruz High student marches through graduation, receives best in show By Ryan Stuart rstuart@santacruzsentinel.com CONGRATULATIONS ST. FRANCIS GRADUATES! A N D T O O U R F O U R A W A R D W I N N E R S : E M M A F I T Z P A T R I C K ( T H E S I S T E R L A U R A G O E D K E N A W A R D ) , D A V I D I S A I A H G O N Z A L E Z ( T H E S T . D O M I N I C S A V I O A W A R D ) , C A E L I T A N I ( V A L E D I C T O R I A N ) , A N D M A U R E E N K E L L Y ( V A L E D I C T O R I A N ) Keegan McCoy, a senior at Santa Cruz High School, performs his routine for the California Drum Major Championships in full regaliaon May 15. (Contributed by Ron Salinas) ...continues on page 6

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