The 2020 winter guard season opens amid high hopes for the outcome of the competitive season after their fall marching show, “Once Bitten.”
The end of the marching season left some conflicting feelings with the members of the band and color guard. The band fell one eighth of a point short of making finals. This was a devastating blow for the seniors of the team who had been participating since their freshman show “Peace by Piece,” with which they had broken Ashley Ridge history by placing fifth place at state.
A little over two months into the season and the team is already experiencing some changes from previous competitive seasons, which could present some issues moving forward. The team has transitioned from a schedule of practices four days a week in the fall season to two days a week. This dramatic change has already presented visible issues for the team such as stunted learning progress.
“It’s hard,” says Jada Allen, four year veteran and current captain of the team, “Monday is iffy, Wednesdays are better,” she explains. This opinion is backed by sitting in on just two of their practices.
Another blow to the team came from their assistant coach Emily Perkins, who resigned to further pursue her career. Ms. Perkins had made a large impact on the color guard in her short time as coach. Along with Ms. Perkins, the color guard choreographer Daniel Helton splits his time with the Ashley Ridge team and Summerville High School.
These challenges continue to worry many members of the team after their premiere performance at Dorman High School over the past weekend ended with Ashley Ridge placing fourth of four schools in their division with a score of 57.920. The third place team, Daniel High School Varsity, scored only 0.87 of a point higher.
Some remain optimistic, saying, “We aren’t worried.”
Allen comments, “We scored shortly behind guards with full shows, props and costumes.” The team is now working even harder to produce a finished show for their next competition in the coming weeks.
The challenges being faced by the team will only make this a competitive season to keep a close eye on even more. “Bellator Natura” will make its next performance on February 15 at Colleton County.