Roma band’s illustrious streak ends on technicality

Hopes of advancing to the state marching competition for its 10th consecutive year were dashed Saturday for the Roma High School marching band on a technicality.

The band received a Division II rating for its performance at the 77th Annual Pigskin Jubilee marching contest, making the band ineligible to advance to the Area marching contest scheduled this weekend in Weslaco. It’s at Area where bands qualify for the state marching contest.

Before getting to Area, bands must receive a Division I rating at Pigskin in order to advance.

But Roma was penalized by one division rating for purportedly exceeding the eight minutes each band is allotted for performances, according to Ruben Adame, Region 15 executive secretary.

Adame said Monday that the rating had gone through two rounds of appeals, but ultimately the decision would stand.

The school district declined to comment.

Whether 2019 is a state-qualifying year — which staggers every other year — depends on a school’s size; for 5A Class schools such as Roma High, 2019 is such a year and its band has been able to go all the way since 2001.

With the streak now abruptly broken, the band will have to wait until 2021 to try again.