History: 1980


In the fall of 1980 drum corps in the east was in a decline. A mere five years before there were a number of junior and senior corps in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. By 1980 there were less and even fewer would be active by 1985. So the idea of starting a brand new senior drum corps, in central Jersey, was not the best idea. Given odds the Bushwackers were an extreme long shot just to get started and survive a few years. Just think back and recall how many corps, big corps, have folded since ’80.

The idea behind and the catalyst of the Bushwackers was Mike Olszewski. Mike had the dream and the money and the guts to get the corps started. He wanted the corps to be located in his home town of Keyport, NJ and he secured the Keyport American Legion Post # 23 for rehearsals. An organizational meeting was held in November 8th 1980 at the Keyport American Legion attended by Mike, the first show coordinator Mike Mercadante and future instructors Lee Romano and Russell Morris. Approximately 15 people attended the meeting, plus staff and administration.

The Bushwackers were born.

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