By ELISE RIO
Last Saturday, April 25, the University High School color guard team competed in the Winter Guard Association of Southern California (WGASC) Championships, a competition bringing together color guard teams from all over Southern California, at Edison High School. Since the beginning of the season, UHS color guard has participated in five competitions in various high schools including Huntington, Valencia, Alison Niguel, Woodbridge and Edison. The championships last weekend were the last chance for the team to compete against all the guards in its division.
Many team members were nervous prior to their last competition this year, but Mai Tran (Sr.), one of the three UHS color guard captains, said that the team “focused on fixing small details and performing more” so that the team could avoid distractions and have the best performance possible. Nahoko Naka (Sr.), another UHS captain, said that the competition was very tough, with many reputable teams and over 50 people participating in the championships. Naka said that the team members motivated each other to try their hardest for the last competition and gained excellent results, placing 5th out of 9 teams.
The team’s final score was 74.90 out of 100 points, a three-point improvement from the team’s competition at Woodbridge. Erika Arashiro (Sr.), the third UHS captain, said that judges scored the team by judging five different aspects of the team’s performance: “individual equipment, how color guard members move with equipment, individual movement, how well the members dance and travel across the floor, design analysis, the technical aspects of the show, general effects one, how well emotions/performance is conveyed to the audience, and general effects two, which is about the same as the general effects one.”
This competition season for color guard was very different from prior years. Arashiro said, “There was a sudden influx of many new freshmen because a new coach and technical assistant were hired.” Both the upperclassmen and new members had to work together tirelessly so that the new members could learn the basic technique needed to perform at a high level during competitions. In addition, the color guard team had to work with new equipment, including sabers. All three captains agreed that this year has been one of the toughest ones since they have been on the team.
Naka said that although the season had been rough, she “enjoyed seeing each and every one of [the color guard members] grow not only as a performer but as mature ladies.” Nahoko hopes that the freshman, sophomores and juniors will continue to work hard in the upcoming years “because all the blood, sweat, and tears are worth it at the end.” The captains have confidence that the returning members will help the color guard program to continue to grow.