PHS Color Guard is best in Alabama

The Pelham High School Color Guard had an outstanding performance at the SCGC Color Guard Championships and was named the best in Alabama. The JV team finished third in their division while the Varsity squad took first place in thier division. (Contributed)

The Pelham High School Color Guard had an outstanding performance at the SCGC Color Guard Championships and was named the best in Alabama. The JV team finished third in their division while the Varsity squad took first place in thier division. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—On March 22, the Pelham High School JV and Varsity Color Guard squads joined nearly 80 teams from Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky to compete in the SCGC Color Guard Championships. The JV team took third in Scholastic Regional A-Blue. The Varsity squad took first in the Scholastic AA-White division and was recognized as the best in Alabama.

Color Guard is a year-round commitment for the 22 members of the Pelham High School team.

“They are the same girls that march in the fall,” said Color Guard sponsor Katy Burnside. “Once they finish up football, they go right into Winter Guard practice.”

During the winter season, the team prepares a four-minute choreographed show, complete with rifles, sabers and flags. Winter Guard routines have specific rules, requirements and skills different from what the girls see during the fall season, so the girls spend time both during and after the school day practicing, drilling and perfecting their show for competition.

“They practiced their hearts out and learned to do a lot of skills they’re not accustomed to,” Burnside said. “They girls were so motivated.”

And their hard work paid off. The JV team competed in a division comprised largely of Varsity teams, beating four of them for their third place finish.

“They were extremely nervous,” Burnside said. “There were only there returners to JV this year, so it was all new to many of the girls.”

The Varsity squad stole the show, beating nine teams to take first in their division. Their high score for their performance earned them the title of best in state.

“We beat the second place team by one-tenth of a point,” Burnside said. “It was really exciting, all of the girls got medals like Olympians.”

This was the last time these girls would compete together as a group, as they will be separated between Helena and Pelham high schools next year.

“They were happy to have been there together as a group,” Burnside said. “They’re extremely excited and happy to have gone out on a good note.”