Picayune color guard improving each year

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, December 3, 2019

This year the Maroon Tide color guard had a routine filled with flair and color as it combined with the band and Pride of the Tide to put on a halftime show to remember.

The theme of the show was a trip to a circus and the color guard were an integral part in selling the show to the audience.

Sherri Hoffman is the director of the color guard for Picayune and she said a big focus this year was to improve on last year’s performance.

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In band competitions the color guard are judged as well, so Hoffman wanted to make sure the athletes were bringing their best.

“I think they did a wonderful job. We got a lot of compliments on the show and performances. The girls worked really hard,” Hoffman said.

The hard work paid off as the guard scored a 93 at this year’s competition.

Hoffman attributed the improvement in large part to the program’s proactive approach.

Tryouts were moved into March and April, which gave the athletes plenty of time to learn their routine for a signature part of each show, “Are You From Dixie?”

The early tryouts gave the guard more time to work on basics as well, which paid off in the form of improved scores.

“We hit those fundamentals really hard. For summer camp we had all that behind us and could just concentrate on the show,” Hoffman said.

With the band’s competition season ending, there will be only a few more opportunities for the guard to perform.

The grind doesn’t stop for the program just because competition season is ending.

Hoffman said there are a couple of parades the guard may perform in, but for the most part the winter and spring months are spent focusing on fundraising and the other projects that help a program run.

Then the cycle will repeat itself with tryouts being held in March or April to attract new talent and the grind of learning a new show will begin again.

“We are an all year sport. The fundamentals you have to work on that constantly, that’s a constant battle. Every year you just build upon the same thing and clean it up,” Hoffman said.

A new aspect of this year’s show that will likely be incorporated in future shows was the necessity of the athletes being able to dance and move fluidly on the field.

Being part of a color guard is about more than just flag handling skills and Hoffman said teaching the new members of the program some of the proper dance habits will be a focus.

“This past year we brought a lot more dance, a lot more body movements. We still work on teaching the girls more dancing techniques,” Hoffman said.