Color Guard is a challenging sport. It involves muscle training, precision, technique, skill, dance, strength, and much more. It may come as a surprise, then, that there are five middle school students on the Los Alamitos High School Team.
For the past few years, there was a Junior Color Guard team for both Oak and McAuliffe students. This year, the Junior team was canceled. In order to continue to include the middle school level members, the Junior team coach and the LAHS team coach both agreed that some of the students on the Junior team demonstrated advanced skills, qualifying them for a higher level.
The coach of last year’s Junior team and the current LAHS coach, Bailey Sidell, explained that middle schoolers “are the future generation of this Color Guard and the earlier you get in, the more experience you can get and the better you’ll be later on.”
The Los Alamitos High School team goes to several competitions every year. They are known in the community as a team that places quality above all else and will likely take first among their peers. This will be a challenge for the middle school students, who have had less experience.
An Oak student now on the High School team, Myleigh Vasquez, voiced the drawbacks of the former middle school team: “[Some drawbacks were] just letting us do whatever we really pleased and not having enough coaches.” While the LAHS team has multiple coaches, the Junior team had only one coach last year.
Naturally, the middle school team would not be as expansive as the more professional high school team. Another student from McAuliffe, Michelle Benson, reported that the budget for equipment and props is greater on the LAHS team. In joining the high school level, it is a great opportunity for the middle school students to access high school resources.
These middle school students are now experiencing the full potential of what a Color Guard team can do. Both Benson and Vasquez conveyed they are enjoying the high school team experience. The new opportunities for these students is a wonderful thing; the addition of five new, experienced members will propel the LAHS team enhance their success.