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Flags and Rifles and Sabres, Oh My!

By Desiree Leong, Clarion Staff

Bright colors flashing through the air and graceful dancers crossing the football field along with the upbeat and constant tempo of the band: this is color guard. The spinning flags, rifles, and sabres accompany the band at Kennedy as the visual aspect of the performance.

JFK Color Guard poses briefly in front of the auditorium for Clarion photographer Desiree Leong during afternoon practice in October.

This year, color guard is led by two captains, seniors Megan Chan and Destinee Thrasher, and two co-captains, juniors Samantha Lee and Cindy Leung.

Lisa Kim, a junior at Kennedy in her third year of fall season, explains that it is different from the other sports offered at Kennedy. “Our color guard has an audience and judges. Color guard is a story we want to tell the audience. We want them to feel how we feel.”

pictured above with flags: Samantha Ng (11), Karen Peng (11), Kessley O’Keefe (10), Samantha Lee (11) Photo by Desiree Leong

Pictured in front with rifles flying: Lisa Kim (11), Nina Jones (10) Photo by Desiree Leong

Pictured above with sabres flying: Grace Yang (11), Cindy Leung (11), Kelly Tan (10), Megan Chan (12), Kristi Wong (12), Logan Tuazon (11) Photo by Desiree Leong

Despite the beauty and grace of guard, it takes dedication to do this extensive sport. The many hours color guard puts into their performances can be seen by the precision and confidence in their range of dance, weapon, and flag work. From practices with the band on Tuesdays and Thursdays and separate sectionals, dedication is very important for this sport.  

 

Color guard can also be extremely entertaining. There are constantly new techniques to learn instead of repeating the same actions. The games and interactions that take place deepen their bond with one another.

“In band, especially guard, everyone is tight-knit because of how much time we spend together. It’s helped me feel included because you get a second family. It’s a welcoming environment and there’s a lot of people willing to help,” says Karen Peng, junior fall season newcomer. As well as being considered to be a unique extracurricular activity, guard gives students a place to belong and fit in.

Color guard is currently working with the band to put on a spectacular show. Their performance this year will be set to the band’s Phantom of the Opera music. When asked about her feelings on the show, Megan Chan mentions, “I really like the music this year even though I haven’t seen the show. I think it’s a good show and we can get Champs with it.”

Two different types of equipment in their shows: flag and weaponry. Flags will consist of the regular-sized ones and swing flags, while weaponry will have rifles and sabres. A difference when working with the two is that weaponry requires you to highlight the equipment rather than working with it like you would with a flag.  

With their dedication and impressive win streak, it is no surprise that color guard is exceptionally talented. At this past weekend’s Foothill High School competition, guard won first place with a score of 93.4. Nonetheless, everyone is very welcome here. When talking about her experience so far, Peng says, “Even though I’m not the best at it, it makes me feel like I have potential.”

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