Dedication at It’s Finest

Milana Ilickovic, Trenton Bibee, Katelyn Powers, and Addison Byers


As the color guard works hard, they take time to bond and create friendships. The teammates have a pep talk as they work together to fix their mistakes. “We learn how to push through and keep going,” Kendall McGarry said. From left to right: Kiara Warren, Ellen Bray, Jenascia Hargrove, Skylar Braden, Kendall McGarry. Photo Credits: Milana Ilickovic

It’s a rainy summer break morning and they’re perfecting their performance.

The color guard and marching band show dedication to their teams by practicing with full effort, no matter the time or weather.

The teams will stop at nothing to give their crafts the hardest of work and tireless hours through rain or shine. Being in such a close yet large group of people forms priceless bonds between students that are present on and off school grounds. Being one of the most under-appreciated groups at the school, it inspires the group to push onward and get better to earn well-deserved recognition.

“Overall I think we always try and stay dedicated and connected, and then when competition season starts we definitely pick back up again everyone loves to compete,” a senior student and member of color guard, Kendall McGarry, said. Most teams and clubs have a competitive spirit, and when this is combined with hard work and motivation, there is an incredible outcome.

Together the color guard and marching band create an unbelievably driven group of students that take time out of their summer to get better at their performances. “The biggest thing is they’re here for summer during band camp, when a lot of students are still at home and dealing with the extreme heat that we had last week, and it definitely shows their dedication,” marching band director, Jason Novak said.

There are many differences between the two groups and the skills required, but when it comes to the dedication they share the idea of never giving up. “It’s a lot of time, a lot of effort, you have to sacrifice a lot for it,” marching band drum major, Brenden Zygmunt said. Although time-consuming, the hours of practice always pay off. “Even if a flag does knock us in the head, or a rifle comes down on our foot, we know how to work through that, and we know what our limits are, and how to push them,” McGarry said. They come into practice on a summer morning with the hope and intent of improvement, letting the newcomers feel comfortable and starting the year off on a good note. 

With how much work is put into these practices and performances, these students are not given the appropriate amount of appreciation from the community, as their effort is often overlooked. “It’s just not talked about a lot, we don’t have as much funding, we’re not as hyped up because we’re not as known for what we do,” McGarry said. Color guard and marching band are pushing themselves to improve and get better at what they do in hopes of gaining the recognition they deserve. “I think there’s a select group that’s much more highly represented and held higher than the other half,” Zygmunt said. This doesn’t bring the teams down, it further motivates them and their strive to gain representation.

However, Novak believes there is growth occurring in the representation of the marching band, and that admiration could soon be found in the entire school. “Last year we only marched 48 students, this year is 70, and I think as we continue forward, we’ll continue to grow and have more representation of the entire school,” Novak said. Just one walk into practice shows just how much these students care about what they do. 

Being part of these extra-curricular brings many benefits including making the best of memories and friendships, and being part of something you truly enjoy. “I didn’t know how I would feel in the very beginning because like I said, it’s my second year being a staff member, but it’s been very exciting. It makes me love everything that I do it makes me want to do this for the rest of my life. It’s amazing,” low brass tech for the marching band, Wesley Vaughn said. Vaughn felt how positive energy took over previous negativity and false assumptions about there being a new band director. He was thankful to be able to see the change in attitudes and all the excitement for the upcoming year.

“We have to spend so much time together, so there’s definitely really close friendships there. This band really creates, like, a family,” McGarry said. The marching band and color guard are the type of commitments you can’t exactly leave, you won’t only be leaving the team, but all of the strong relationships built. “I’ve already got my friend group kind of based in there,” Zygmunt said. When in doubt, you can always count on the marching band and color guard to give their utmost best and stay dedicated.