An immense wave of Eagle pride flooded the West Deptford High School auditorium Friday morning. Donning the official jacket of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, Caitlin Fenning stood on the stage as her peers roared in celebration of her induction.
Fenning will perform as part of the All-American Marching Band, during halftime in San Antonio, TX, at the All-American Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 5. The All-American Bowl will be televised on NBC at 1 p.m.
She and other members of color guard will perform alongside 101 other selected musicians.
Fenning is one of 24 color guard students selected from across the nation to perform. In total, there were 1,300 nominees for the position from 47 states.
Michelle Fenning—Caitlin Fenning’s mother—says it was a long process and even a longer wait.
After being referred by band director Tom Kershaw and Principal Brian Gismondi, Caitlin Fenning sent in a taped audition. She then waited about three months, until getting the good news in July.
“It was hard, you want to tell everyone,” said Michelle Fenning, who because of policy, could not announce the good news until just recently.
Michelle Fenning was the first to learn of her daughter’s induction after opening an email. After learning the good news, she immediately called her daughter, who was at work.
Mayor Raymond Chintall was one of four who spoke on behalf of Caitlin Fenning at her induction ceremony.
“Caitlin is a shining example of excellence, excellence that occurs every day in this high school,” Chintall said.
Caitlin Fenning eyes' welled up as she thanked her family, friends, the West Deptford Marching Band and everyone else who made her induction possible. After her speech concluded the auditorium filled with cheers and applause—followed shortly by a standing ovation from everyone.
“Having an Eagle on the field at the All-American Bowl is a dream come true to us,” said Kershaw.
Caitlin Fenning said she never expected to be picked, she simply put her name in to see what would happen—but now, she can hardly contain her joy.
“I’m really glad to represent my school,” said Caitlin Fenning, grinning from ear to ear.
Caitlin Fenning will leave on Dec. 21, where she will join the other members of the All-American Marching Band in San Antonio to begin practicing for the big game.