Practice Makes Perfect: Color Guard Twirls Its Way to a Close


Photo by Julia Kim

Freshman Mahum Khan flourishes her swing flag to the side before starting her drill during winter guard practice.

Maryam Shama and Chloe Ma

Color guard members place their flags, rifles and sabres down as the school year comes to an end. Throughout the year they showcased their talents during football game halftime shows, at the Irvine Invitational Field Tournament and throughout the year at local competitions.

“[One] highlight was when we got fourth place out of six guards. Although fourth is not necessarily high, this was the first time we did not get last,” freshman Melanie Lai said. “This event allowed our guard to be closer to each other because it was a very exciting moment.”

At the Winter Guard Association of Southern California Championships, the team received a score of 63.84, resulting in them winning eighth place out of nine teams at the competition. Although the team only consists of lowerclassmen, they practiced throughout the year in an attempt to compete against fellow schools.

“Because we don’t have any juniors and seniors, we all started off brand new, but our coach helped us on the skill sets from flagwork, sabres, rifles to matching the beat and choreography,” co-captain and sophomore Jennifer Chiang said. “We’ve learned a lot, and our team is also supportive of one another. We are like true sisters.”

Many competing teams from other schools consist of members who have practiced since middle school and have more experience. However as the Bulldogs have had plentiful practice with their coach, they have developed many advanced skills. Some freshmen are even spinning sabre, a skill many members develop as juniors or seniors.

“We have all new spinners, and it’s hard for us to remember that some of our teammates have just picked up a flag for the first time this year,” coach Rabecca Woodruff said. “The team has really pushed themselves this year…We are really pushing ourselves to play catch up with the other teams.”

Since last year, the team has improved in many areas, including the dance aspect of their performances. For future years, they plan to work on cleaner shows, performing with counts and utilizing their emotions more throughout the show.

“My main goal was for the team to be more and more comfortable with their show with each performance,” Woodruff said. “I want them to be so comfortable they could do it in their sleep. I feel at championships we had a really successful show. They really pushed themselves and made all their hard work worth it. I could tell they were finally comfortable.”