Color Guard: When Art Meets Sport

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The RHS team ranked 3rd place in East Cowetta High School competition. Photo provided by Sophie Klippel.

Ana Ferreira

One of the most unique sports you can find in high school is Color Guard. It can be not as popular as many other activities, but its peculiarity is undeniable. It pushes you in a physical, mental, and emotional way, testing your capacity to learn choreography quickly and accurately and perform it in a beautiful manner. 

“There is really nothing else kinda like it,” says senior Sophie Klippel, “It’s like dance and performance mixed with a really specific set of skills you have to learn. You just use a bunch of equipment that you normally wouldn’t touch and make it spin and look pretty and impressive and easy when it’s actually really hard.” 

After being part of the Cheerleader team for about seven seasons, Klippel wanted to experience something different and, with her friends’ support, she decided to try Color Guard. 

“I had a bunch of friends in color guard and they all told me I should do it and, then, I did it. It was a really good decision. I wish I had started doing it longer,” said Sophie, who is participating in her second season in the sport right now. 

Color Guard starts in the beginning of May and practices happen during the summer and school season, being four hours long three times a week. During fall season, the color guard team is united with the band and they do performances during football games’ halftime, giving the public some really quality entertainment. 

The Color Guard team at the first football game of the season.
Photo provided by Sophie Klippel.

“In practice, you learn drill and exactly where you need to go in the field,” stated Sophie.

 The whole thing has the objective to tell a story through performances and following the music. 

But, in winter, it is a separate season. The coach Ms. Esti Afanador decides a soundtrack and then develops a story in which the color guard team has to do all the performances, using equipment as flags, sabers and rifles.  

Color guard is a sport that requires a lot of motor skills, where movements are performed with precision and people must have a high ability to coordinate them while using the sabers, rifles and flags to toss and spin them.

 “There is a lot of technique with it, so you gotta learn how to catch it correctly, how to get it to rotate at the right speed for the right amount of time and then be able to catch it. Ideally, everyone is working on those and trying to get at the same skill level as possible,” commented Klippel

When asked about her opinion whether Color Guard is a sport or not, Sophie said: “A lot of people say it’s not a sport and I think it depends on if you think cheer or dance are sports. If you think that those are sports, then Color Guard is a sport. But it’s a part of the marching band. I consider it a sport because I put almost 600 hours into it in the hot sun. So I think it’s a sport but other people may not.” After all, Color Guard is also competitive.

The competitions are Klippel’s favorite part about the sport. She finds herself pretty competitive and she thinks it’s fun to perform and see if they can beat

Color Guard performance at Creekview High School competition

other people. 

“Color Guard is really important to me,” said Sophie. Even though it doesn’t have the same presence as cheerleading, you can meet a lot of nice people and everyone in the team is pretty close to each other. 

“I actually wish more people would do it because I think it’s really fun and a lot of people would like to do it. But it’s not super popular in our school,” Sophie concluded.

With no doubts, Color Guard should receive more attention. The team has conquered great positions through competitions and last year they won first place in the show “Growing Pains”, and still they have a lot going on this season, with competitions  even out of state.