Apopka WIN-ter Guard

We are all aware of the Color Guard, as we see their incredible performances on the field during the football season. Although, many may be unaware of who the Winter Guard is, this team is simply the Color Guard but during competition season. The Color Guard starts their year with “field season, where we perform at football games. December is when Winter Guard (competition season) begins and we start competing,” shares Hridya Manoj, a Senior here at APK. The Winter Guard competes in many competitions, one being the Florida Federation of Colorguard Circuit (FFCC) in which they “compete against other high schools in our division which is AA. Our JV team competes against schools in the B class division. In these tournaments, we’re judged on our ability to dance, spin equipment, performance, and show design. We have multiple competitions during a season, but the one that really matters is Championships,” says Hridya. Ava Singh, a Junior here at APK and member of the JV team mentioned earning “9th out of 11th place,” in their competition.

There are many challenges the Varsity team faced while preparing for FFCC. “This week, we faced a lot of problems with our team members getting injured. One girl broke her thumb and [another] had sprained her foot. These gaps in the show created some problems for this week, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed,” shared Hridya. During the tournament there were difficulties as well. The time before the tournament tends to be “hectic” as the guard is working hard to rush into their costumes and apply their makeup to then start warm-ups and compete. Even if the time before is hectic, Winter Guard definitely pulled it together as they earned first place in their AA division. This may all seem stressful for the Guard but, Hridya seems to find some enjoyment during competition season, explaining, “I one-hundred percent definitely enjoy competition season more than field season because of the competitive environment and being surrounded by other color guards who are familiar with the sport, rather than football games where the audiences don’t really know what’s happening with what we do on the field. It’s also really fun being at competitions and seeing the upper-class guards: college and independent-level guards. Their performances are so amazing and the whole gym filled with other guards cheer so loud to the point my ears go numb.”

The JV team also faced some challenges of their own. “Most people were off or going too fast and some people were not showing proper technique,” says Ava. The JV team spends quite a bit of time practicing; they spend 6 hours each week practicing. Although, with all of the practice, there were still difficulties faced during the actual competition. “Most people were nervous during the competition, making them not focus on the counts. This messed up their routine,” shared Ava. Competition season isn’t quite Ava’s favorite season. She enjoys field season more as she “[loves] the memories being built, making friends with people outside of color guard (band or majorettes), songs being played in the stands, performing on the field with the band, and the away games we go to.” 

Here at Apopka, we support our incredible Color Guard. Best of luck to them in their future competitions.