Flipping flags, dancing, and acting are all skills that are deeply rooted in every member of the North Potomac Area Color Guard, also known as NPACG.
On Mar. 18, there was a Friends and Family Home Show at this school. The performance was meant to recruit new members and show students and parents what color guard is about. “Friends and families got to see our shows that we’ve been working so hard on all season. It was great to see the audience enjoying our shows and we even got to teach them how to spin flag, rifle, and sabre for a bit,” sophomore James Zou said.
The color guard is composed of 27 members from three different schools, including this school, Quince Orchard and eighth graders from Robert Frost. Although the NPACG is inclusive to students in the near proximity, most of the students are from this school. “About 14 of the members are from Wootton,” sophomore Ines Zheng said.
The main goal for the color guard is to recruit new members to continue their winning streak and legacy. The main priority would be recruiting eighth and ninth graders. Besides recruitment, the team is striving to compete on a national level. “I think overall we just want to keep improving and growing. Who knows, if we get second this year we can strive for first next year,” senior captain Somya Jain said.
In order to join, one must talk to a member of the current color guard team or music teacher Susan Eckerle. Starting Apr. 23, practices and clinics will be held at Frost and run by current members. “We are going to teach the basics like how to hold a flag, how to spin and toss it. It’s going to be a lot of fun,” senior member Katie Wu said.
The team practices two to three times a week for two and a half hours each day. On the day of the competition, the NPACG will normally have a three-hour practice before leaving the competition. “[The practice before competitions] mostly consists of cleaning our choreography and clarifying any last minute questions,” Jain said.
Championships are held by the Keystone Indoor Drill Association in Pennsylvania on Mar. 30 and 31. As the last show of the year, the pressure is rising for the color guard to do their best. “My goal is that we perform our show to the best of our abilities. We’ve spent so much effort and time practicing, but the scores aren’t as important as our growth as color guard athletes and as people,” Zou said.
After the championships, the seniors will be done. “We will all definitely come back to visit to make sure our little newbies are holding up the legacy we built,” Jain said.