Colorguard makes our county proud

Last Saturday, I got a chance to spend the day with some of the hardest-working young women in Shelby County.

A few weeks ago, I agreed to travel to a Feb. 5 colorguard competition in Prattville with my girlfriend, who is a sponsor of the Thompson High School colorguard.

While I was there, I got to see performances by the THS, Pelham High School and Chelsea High School colorguards.

Being a typical guy, I immediately think of sports like football, baseball and basketball when making my list of exciting events.

But after seeing how hard the girls from our local high schools worked to put on flawless performances for judges from all over the country, I will gladly add colorguard to that list.

Like participants in many other less-publicized sports, the members of our local colorguard teams don’t get half of the recognition they deserve.

While many other sports teams were taking a winter break the girls at Saturday’s competition were spending months practicing and perfecting their routines.

On almost every weekend the guards don’t perform, they spend hours upon hours practicing while we relax at home.

They don’t do it for the recognition, they do it to build pride in their schools, their communities and their county.

I’ll admit, I was as nervous when the judges were announcing the top teams from Saturday’s competition as I have been at any high-stakes football game.

Every local colorguard team at the competition had large groups of supporters, which is also a testament to our county’s support of its schools.

Though supporters of many other schools left shortly after their colorguards performed, nearly every parent, sibling and friend there with a Shelby County colorguard still remained in the gym until the very end.

After the performance, the THS colorguard packed nearly half of Prattville’s O’Charley’s restaurant, providing a close familylike atmosphere between the girls and their supporters.

When dinner was over, everyone rushed back to Prattville High School so they could be there to congratulate the girls as the scores came in.

Sports like colorguard may not always get the recognition they deserve, but I can say without a doubt that they never cease to make Shelby County proud.

Neal Wagner is the city editor for the Shelby County Reporter. He can be reached at 669-3131 ext. 17 or by e-mail at neal.wagner@shelbycountyreporter.com.