The Spartan Color Guard at the 2015 AIA Championships. On the front row (from left) are Leanne Wilson, Kate Davis, Tabitha Ducey, Cassie Munday, Faith Howell, Robbie Jensen, and Savannah Nguyen. Seated on the front row is Courtney Benson. On the middle row are Andrew Eason, Koliah Street, Lexi Langston, Harley Schneider, Yessica Pacheco, Bailey Parrish, Mykala Pierce, Diana Gottuso, Karenna Jones, and Devian Bagley. On the are Keja Stevens, Janicia Baptiste, and Hunter Edwards.
Add another accomplishment to an already successful program, Smithfield-Selma High School Winter Color Guard recently brought home the 2015 AIA Championship Title, finishing the year with an undefeated season.
The competition was fierce as teams competed for the ultimate title as champions. Competing with dozens of teams, the Spartans ultimately came out on top. This latest gold medal adds to an extensive shelf of awards earned over the past eight years of the program at SSS.
In 2011, the Spartan Color Guard competed at the World Championships and placed 11th in the world. The strength and determination of this young group of students has proven to be very talented and has the chemistry needed to perform at their caliber.
“We all know that hard work pays off, but they gave more than the average,” said Principal Stephen Baker. “They did it for each other, and that unselfish effort has paid off in perfection.”
Performing to the theme of “Neverland,” the group decorated the stage in light green uniforms, free-flowing flags, and sprinkled pixie dust to give their audience a performance that was magical.
“The students were awesome performers,” said Leigh Anne Deans, Assistant Band Director. “They really got into their characters and put on a believable performance. That really set them apart.”
Performing as dozens of Tinkerbells and a Peter Pan, the group gave a performance that was championship worthy. While the team is young, they are determined to be the best in what they do. Coached by Brian Jones, SSS Band Director, and Jean Coulet du Gard, SSS Guard Instructor, the Spartan Color Guard is an adverse group of students who are a family that share a passion for the sport and the excitement of the performance.
“Color Guard is such a great opportunity and I am so proud to be a part of such an amazing team,” said Cassie Munday, member of the Spartan Color Guard.
Throughout the year, Color Guard members spend hours together. From practicing at football games to performing at school events, the team members more or less eat, breathe, and sleep Color Guard for the constant quest of perfection. “Color Guard isn’t just a sport,” said member Diana Gottuso. “It is a lifestyle.”
The demanding sport has proven to be very successful at SSS. Since its beginning , SSS Color Guard has medaled at every AIA Championship in which they have competed. In 2013, the team competed at the WGI Richmond Regional and took home a gold medal- a first for the program.
“I am extremely proud of the team,” said Band Director Brian Jones. “They all worked very hard all season.”