Sophie's Blog: An afternoon in a hot gym

M-I-C-K-E-Y Mouse


On this fine Thursday afternoon, the color guard travelled to the field house for their post-lunch sectional. When I got there at around 4:30, they had split into the usual three sections of rifles, flags and sabres. Instead of doing their own things, the weapons were all working together, doing mini drill with Sam Watson, who was wearing adorable pink shorts! I love the CBCCG (Cadets of Bergen County Color Guard) staff because they always wear the craziest, funniest outfits.

Katie Hopkins was cleaning the flags, and when she saw me taking pictures, she stopped because she had to put her “gnome hood” on for the camera. This outfit consisted of a gray hooded sweatshirt; she tied the arms around her chest and put the hood up over her head, covering all her hair. She exclaimed that the gnome hood made the flags get better. This may have been true, because the flags were very impressive today!


It was incredibly hot in the gym, and I was stationary in the press box watching. No wonder a lot of the members had taken their shirts off and were sweating. At least when it’s hot outside, there might be the occasional gust of wind to cool you down for a minute, unlike the hot gym where the heat hangs in the air and gets muggy.

Captains Ashley Pittman and Mallory Yohannan looked so cute today in matching outfits. They were wearing neon yellow/green shirts and black shorts; I’m not sure if this was planned or not, but it looked really cool.

Throughout the choreography, sometimes the guard will have vocals for certain parts instead of counts. They do this to keep it fun, and usually the vocals are an inside joke that a staff member might have said about that part of the work. As I was watching today, I heard the weapons saying a really funny vocal: They spelled out “M-I-C-K-E-Y Mouse, Mickey Mouse” during a slower part of their routine. Vocals are always so funny because every time you do that part of the show, it makes you smile. Any guard member knows what I mean, but no one else would even know the guard was saying the vocals since the horns and drums are so loud (not that that’s a bad thing!).

For the last half-hour, all three guard sections came together to run what they’d been working on with music. “Gush and go. We’re almost done, I promise.” Unlike the notorious “One more time” (that never really means just one more time), Sam Watson wasn’t lying when he said they were almost done. The guard did two more reps of the chunk they’d be practicing and then took a break before doing the last few reps until 5:30 when sectional ended.

The guard is really looking great. There are still some not-so-good moments, but they aren’t going to be perfect yet. It takes a long time and a lot of practice to get the show finals-ready, but these members are working their butts off. Every night, you can find a handful of the guard members outside the dorms spinning and another couple down at the field house working on their twirls as well. Fourth-year member Bridget Lambert says that the dedication of the guard is better than it has been in her past years. “There’s so many vets, and the rookies are really stepping up,” she said. It’s very beneficial to the new members to have a large number of returning members, so they have people to look up to and teach them how to be a Cadet. So far, this season looks like it’s going to be a darn good one.


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