Spirit guard takes the floor for the first time

New program furthers Olas spinning ability.


Photo Courtesy of Alex Shofman

The Spirit guard poses in their uniforms for the first time. Inspired by the eighties, the neon colors give the show an extra pop of color against the pink floor and blue flags.

Kortney Huggins, Staff Writer

For the first time in Ola history, there is a junior varsity winterguard. Winterguard is an indoor sport of the arts and is ran by Mason Barnes, colorguard instructor, and Jamie McDonald, assistant band director.

“The show theme was initially was meant to be something that they could relate to and enjoy themselves But it’s slowly developed into just more so a throwback to the eighties and a tribute to that era of music and colorguard,” Barnes said.

Open to middle schoolers and as well as high schoolers, Barnes hopes the program will bring more participants to colorguard which takes place in the fall with the marching band. The goal of the spirit guard is to prepare new students and first-time members for the long weeks of band camp and to have a stronger competitive guard. In order to get the needed feedback, the spirit guard will perform in two competitions in Feb..

“In many sports, there are JV programs or feeder programs. Like you have middle school softball and middle school baseball, so that way when they get to the high school level they already have some skills as a base to grow on, and with the colorguard is very similar to that aspect,” Barnes said.

With two upcoming competitions in Feb., the Spirit Guard is gearing up by focusing on performance. Having an upbeat show to Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know”, it is not hard for audiences to be happy and enjoy the performance.

“Performing in exhibition has very little to do with the competitive side but is more so just giving them exposure to what colorguard is through watching more than anything and also getting those first-show jitters out at a young age will help them develop into a more mature performer,” Barnes said.

Photo Courtesy of Alex Shofman
The Spirit Guard begins their show with a group dance feature. The feature allowed for the performers to soak up the spotlight.

Ending the season strong with 23 girls, the rising ninth-graders are excited to perform and learn more things to become better performers.

“[The instructors] make learning fun, but we’re also getting stuff done. I thought Spirit Guard was going to be fun but I think I was still a little nervous, but spirit guard is actually better than what I thought it would be because I get to make new friends and learn new things,” Carley Brooks, rising ninth-grader, said.

For returning members of the fall colorguard, this is an opportunity for them to teach younger kids and still better themselves while having fun. Veterans on the spirit guard help the instructors by leading the younger or new participants and make sure they accomplish everything in order for everyone to have a good show.

Photo Courtesy of Alex Shofman
Alex Shofman, freshman, separates from the dance feature and throws her solo toss. The flag solo introduced the flag for the first time.

“They [the younger kids] are fun to work with. We can get along with them easily and they’re a great group of kids,” Alex Shofman, freshman, said.

A family and friend run-through can be comforting for performers because they know someone in the crowd and that calms their nerves. The spirit guard will be holding their family and friend run-through on Feb. 15 at Ola in the commons beginning at 6:30 p.m.