Color guard competes for NTCA

Senior+Joeley+Hedgcoxe+poses+in+varsitys+performance+%E2%80%9CSomething+More.+The+varsity+team+placed+fourth+and+JV+placed+fifth.

Courtesy of Don Dorlon

Senior Joeley Hedgcoxe poses in varsity’s performance “Something More.” The varsity team placed fourth and JV placed fifth.

The color guard team competed in the North Texas Colorguard Association (NTCA) contest in the high school gym on Feb. 25. The JV team had a love-themed performance titled, “Love is One Candle Away,” while the varsity team followed the theme of waitresses aspiring to be actresses in their performance titled “Something More.” Freshman Amelie Vuong competed with the JV team. 

“It’s really fun, especially when it’s home-hosted at Lovejoy,” Vuong said. “It’s a bit stressful because we are kind of in charge and have to take care of everything in the prep, but performing itself is nice when you have so much adrenaline. You have something to be proud of yourself over, and it’s really fun to be performing with everyone.” 

Judges score based on visual to technical design branching into categories of equipment, movement, design and general effect. The overall mood of the performance is taken into consideration along with the crowd’s reactions. There are five judges that score based on these categories. Sophomore Ella Smith competed with the varsity team. 

“Our theme for varsity was a waitress wanting to do something more, wanting a Hollywood actress’s life and dreaming about it,” Smith said. “The whole concept of the show was we were on a movie set and filming that.”

In the NTCA competition, JV won fifth place and varsity placed fourth. Each performer auditions for the JV or varsity team before the season starts. All freshmen are currently in the JV team while upperclassmen are divided between the two teams. 

“In color guard culture, when you are watching other people’s shows, it’s always expected to scream loudly and cheer others on while they are performing, so it’s always a very welcoming environment,” Smith said. “They make you feel less nervous to perform in front of the judges.”

Color guard is currently in their winter guard season, which consists of competitions and focuses on the technical skills of the team. The team focuses on storytelling throughout their performances in the winter season more compared to the marching season.  

“Now, there’s a lot more focus on the color guard,” Smith said. “In marching season, sometimes there is judging based on the color guard, but it mostly just gives effect to the marching show. For winter guard, I would say it’s more theatrical. You are playing with different emotions, and you can actually see the performers better.”

Color guard training begins in November and they compete until April. Rehearsals are after school every other Tuesday and Thursday. JV practices for an hour and a half, and the varsity team practices for two hours and 45 minutes. During winter break, the team attends eight-hour camps. 

“Color guard takes a lot of determination, and you get hurt a lot,” Smith said. “It works your brain and requires you to use your body in ways you never really thought you could. You are practically playing with physics.”

Competition days can last up to 17 hours. The team’s schedule includes getting ready with hair and makeup, changing into costumes, stretching, working through dances, running in place and then a final run-through with the props. After the final performance, they take props back to storage and wait for the results from judges. 

“I’d definitely say the team is a lot like a family,” senior and varsity captain Mackenzie Miller said. “We spend a ton of time around each other, so it’s hard not to be. There’s ups and downs, but we always figure out a way to work through things in order to better the team.”