Clarke County’s Color Guard team grabbed first place at the Keystone Indoor Drill Association championship in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on Saturday. The Color Guard’s 2011 production was entitled “We Fall Down” with music by Dana Parish.
“I just wanted to thank you for being such a great audience on Friday afternoon and to let you know the CCHS Color Guard is Keystone Indoor Drill Association 2011 Champions!” said Clarke County Public Schools Music Supervisor Mark Curry. “The Color Guard took first place overall with a 92.9 on Saturday evening.”
According to CCHS Color Guard Instructor Stephanie McKenney the 10 members team began rehearsing in December spending three days a week after school and every other day in the Color Guard classroom.
“Without complaint, they gave up four days of their winter vacation to prep and paint our 70′ x50′ gym floor covering, adding 12 gallons of paint to a tarp that already weighed 350 pounds!” McKenney said. “As the season progressed, they again gave up two more of their teacher work days to practice, as well as arrive at school several hours early on show days for last-minute rehearsals.”
Color Guard performances began in February with the team attending eight regular-season competitions in Maryland and Pennsylvania spread over seven Saturdays. During the course of the season the Color Guard achieved a top-three division ranking at every show including five first place finishes. At Saturday’s Keystone Indoor Drill Association championship in Harrisburg, the Color Guard competed against the twelve other color guard teams in their division.
“They delivered their finest performance of the year and earned the top spot with a score of 92.9 in Harrisburg” said Stephanie McKenney. “Tears of joy were free-flowing as they received their gold medals on the red carpet!”
McKenney praised her team not just for their hard work but also for their excellent sportsmanship.
“The girls have made many friends from other guards in the KIDA circuit mainly due to the sportsman-like manner in which they conduct themselves” McKenney said. “They supported and encouraged every color guard whether they competed against them or not.”
Color Guard performances incorporate dance, flag, and rifle work over the course of four-and- a-half minutes. McKenney designed CCHS’s Color Guard show concept and choreography.
“The support of our band parent association allowed us to purchase three sets of digitally printed flags for use in the show as well as paint for the floor,” McKenney explained. “Many other people were a part of our success this season, including our bus drivers who drove us hundreds of miles over the course of the season, as well as dedicated parents who took turns transporting our tarp and equipment to each show, and waited in the dark at CCHS each weekend for the buses to return. Additionally, the support of D. G. Cooley Elementary School in sharing their gymnasium space with the guard has added tremendously to their growth.”
“If it sounds like I’m bragging, it’s because I am!” said McKenney. “These girls worked so hard this season, pushing through illness, injury and sore muscles. They folded and moved our 400 pound floor dozens of times. They loaded and unloaded the equipment bus every weekend, many time in sub-freezing temps and high winds. They put the needs of the team before their own, and it paid off!”
Stephanie McKenney says that she is already recruiting for the 2011-2012 Color Guard season. Current 8th graders who are interested in joining the CCHS Color Guard next year, as well as current 5th, 6th, and 7th graders who are interested in joining a middle school level Winter Guard are invited to attend information meetings either on Thursday, April 7th or Friday, April 8th at 3:20 pm in the Johnson-Williams Middle School band room.