Color Guard Gears Up for the Start of a New Season

By Ryan Hartley, Photography Editor

The indoor color guard is preparing for the 2018-19 season and is more confident than ever that flags will fly higher, rifles will spin faster and sabers will soar longer than ever before.

Many students involved in the program are excited to get the season started, as this year the show will be more advanced as the guard moves to a higher division.

Senior Bryanna Stimmel, a four-year member of the guard, knows the structure of the guard well.

 Lili Teal

“At Susquehannock, the color guard has been divided into two guards over the past three seasons, gold/bronze and white. At the end of last year’s season, the white guard came to know that they were moving up to blue class the following season,” said Stimmel.

The color guard sport is divided into divisions, much like other sports are divided into junior varsity and varsity.

The color guard has a gold/bronze guard, comparable to JV, and a blue guard, much like a varsity division.

Senior Barbara Barrett is a five year member of the indoor drill winter guard.

“We compete in KIDA, a circuit in which color guard, drumline, and dance units can compete against their respective opponents. The groups are organized into sub-categories or ‘classes’ based on the groups level of skill. We have two color guards, a bronze level (the lowest competitive division, strictly for younger programs who are still developing their skills within the students) and a Blue level (relatively advanced, can demonstrate proficient to advanced skills and understanding of the activity),” said Barrett.

The show this year will reflect the intensive move into a higher division of KIDA, Keystone Indoor Drill Association, and the need for consistent growth within the sport.

“[The show] will be more emotionally and conceptually advanced than most of our previous shows, simply due to our improvement of the program and the requirements of being in blue class,” said Barrett.

Throughout the season, the guard has around eight competitions at various high schools, each  on a Saturday.

However, this year, the Susquehannock guard has the opportunity to add a competition that will increase the notoriety of Susquehannock High School across the nation.

“…this year the blue guard is traveling to a WGI (World Guard International) power-regional, competing against 30 other color guards and having the opportunity to compete on the same floor as some of the best color guards in the country for a whole weekend,” said Barrett.

Lili Teal

Junior Jemma Delozier has been in the winter guard for four seasons and is an integral part of the team.

“Color Guard forces the performer to manipulate the objects into themselves as an extension of their body. Colorguard is a show. We tell stories and create a whole world on one floor,” said Delozier.

The art and sport of color guard can be most commonly seen on the football field with the accompaniment of the marching band.

However, the group performs on their own during the winter season as a full “sport of the arts,” as stated by KIDA, and has value to students performing along with the current instructor, Chrissy Drouin.

“Practice was tough, and not all of our relationships with each other were perfect, but that never took away from the thrill of performing under another school’s gym lights in front of a large group of people all cheering for our perfect executions,” said Stimmel.

The sport of colorguard is intensive, hard work much like other sports, as many students can testify to.

“As our success kept growing, we were all pushed to do harder, more intricate work. I cannot count how many times we had to stop mid run-through to restart because our instructor knew we could do better,” said Stimmel.

As stated by students, the art of color guard is not just a simple throwing of swords and flags.

“We are also much more elegant than most sports, but by definition, color guard is a sport. We compete weekly as a team against others just as any other sport does,” said Barrett.

The art of color guard is a hard task to accomplish.

“Color guard is something that not everyone can do- it takes a lot of practice for everyone in the activity to improve, but for some that may be more coordinated in the feet than the hands or vice versa, it might be more difficult than it is for others,” said Barrett.

The guard season for this year has already begun and will end towards the beginning of April.

Although practices have started, it takes a lot to prepare a show to be performed.

“The first couple practices are working on color guard basics mixed with learning work that most likely weens its way into the show. The hardest part of getting ready for an indoor season is getting in shape,” said Stimmel.

Lili Teal

Last season, the guard won first place in many competitions and ultimately received seventh place in championships.

Although seventh can seem unimpressive, the point scores were closer than ever before, and the difference between ninth and fourth places may not have been vastly apart in value.

The first competition the guard will compete in this year will be Jan. 19 at East Pennsboro Area High School and will feature Delozier, Barrett and many more accomplished Susquehannock students.