Durant’s Color Guard Travels To Daytona


Durant's color guard Instagram account

Durant’s JV and Varsity color guard teams.

Ayla Yebba, Assistant to the Editor

On March 25, Durant’s color guard team left for Daytona to participate in the championship competition to conclude the Winterguard season. Their competition was held the following day where Durant went up against schools from all across Florida in team, duet, and solo competitions. 

After arriving in Daytona, Durant’s JV team performed Friday evening, while Varsity performed on Sunday. Solo competitions were held on Saturday.

Junior Emma Thomas has been on color guard for about three years now after joining as a freshman. She has been in dance most of her childhood and was interested in auditioning for color guard because she thought it would be a fun experience for her and it would be something new “to shake things up” in high school. 

Thomas, along with multiple other color guard members, were nervous for the competition in Daytona.

“At first going up against the other teams may be nerve wrecking depending on if it’s the first competition or not…but after a little bit it starts becoming almost normal,” said Thomas. “It’s also really fun getting to watch the other teams’ performances.”

Freshman Aria Polanco has been in color guard for almost a year. Polanco’s sister encouraged her to join and she actually enjoyed it.

“Honestly as a first time performer I was terrified and overwhelmed but the second I was up there, I knew I was being supported whether I dropped [my flag] or not…,” said Polanco.

It takes a lot of hard work and practice to get ready for any competition Durant’s color guard participates in. When preparing for a competition these students practice Tuesdays, Thursdays, and sometimes Saturdays. Getting ready for a competition requires a lot more than just practice though. Students have to report to Durant at a specific time and be in full costume, hair, and makeup. They’re also responsible for transporting their own equipment needed for the competition. In the end, these students’ hard work pays off because they love being on the team and working with each other to compete in competitions together.

It’s Rachel Barker’s first year on color guard as a freshman in high school. She decided to join the color guard program because she wanted to see what it was like tossing a flag. She also had friends in color guard that enjoyed the program and thought it was fun.

“I love the coaches and the people in color guard, along with the fun of the competition and the competitors,” said Barker.

Hope Hall, junior, joined color guard three years ago and has loved it ever since. Hall sees the color guard and Cougar Pride marching band as more than just programs Durant offers, she sees them as a family and a close knit environment. That’s what she loves most about being a member of the program.

“I can enjoy hanging out with [my friends] before games, at comps and have a good time, even during practice,” said Hall.

Hall decided to go out for color guard because when she was younger she attended her other sisters’ band events, such as football games, and saw girls with flags performing the halftime shows. It always fascinated her and she wanted to do it as soon as she was given the opportunity.

“When I found out I was going to Durant my friend asked me to try out with her and I did and I love it,” said Hall.

At the end of their Daytona competition, Varsity left with getting eighth out of the nine performances. The JV color guard team placed fifth out of 16 performances. 

It’s not easy to remember an in-depth 3-4 minute routine with flag/rifle tossing while having the weight of the entire room watching. On top of that these students are judged on precision, delicacy, and gracefulness on their every move. 

Congratulations to both color guard teams on their places in the competition. Looking forward to hearing about the color guard and Cougar Pride marching band on their trip to the Smoky Mountain Music Festival.