Sophie's Blog: The color guard's first day

Sophie gives us the guard's perspective on a rainy day in Johnstown

Hi! My name is Sophie Lovallo. I was a member of the color guard last year in 2011, but due to an injury, I am unable to march this summer. However, it has allowed me the opportunity to volunteer my time to write about what our Cadets are up to on a day-to-day basis here at Spring Training. Most of what I write will be about the color guard since that’s the area of the corps I am most familiar with. I hope to give you the feeling of being here with us in Johnstown— the feel, sound, sight and even taste of what it’s like to be a Cadet at Spring Training!

Water jugs decorated with colorful duct tape, backpacks and green flag bags took over the back corner of the gym as the color guard rehearsed inside today. Just like the horn line spends a large amount of time working on basic technique, the guard spends lots of time on dance basics such as pliés, tondues and stretches. The usual equipment warm-ups include drop spins, peggy spins, a cone exercise and, of course, tosses. These foreign terms are a routine that color guard members become familiar with throughout the season, as they will do the same choreographed warm-ups every day.

A staff member announced “Quick sip!” and everyone ran to their respected water jugs. No more than a minute passed before they were all back in five lines of four (and a sixth line of only three) with their flags in hand. The same yellow practice flags we used last year (and probably years before, too) smell like a combination of sweat, sunscreen and grossness, but they’re still my favorite flag to spin.

There are only 23 guard members at Spring Training today; however, Caption Head Daniel Riley says that the remaining members will be arriving soon. Speaking of Daniel, he made a comment today that had me laughing really hard! When the guard was rehearsing in the field house gym, a member accidentally hit a big, metal fan that was sitting on the ground with his flag. Daniel said, “Did you really hit the snow blower? We’re gonna need that, you know!” I find it really cool when the staff jokes around with the members, and very amusing as well.

Today’s guard sectional looked like so much fun! It made me want to be out there with them. The members were working hard and sweating, but they were smiling, laughing and enjoying themselves too. It may just be because it’s the first day and everyone is still excited to be here, but it’s nice to see their smiling faces and know that they all love what they’re doing.


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