Livermore Colour Guard Wins Regional Championship


Nuha Maflahi

One of the many extra-curriculars that Granada has to offer is colour guard, an activity that enhances the visuals of the marching band in routines that includes tossing flags, rifles, and sabres. During the fall, colour guard competes in competitions with band where they focus on performing while they’re marching in front of or behind the band. During the winter, colour guard competes in a different activity called winterguard. Winterguard is different from fall in that it’s more intense and competitive and doesn’t include the marching band. During winter guard, which lasts from February to April, colour guard teams put together routines to perform in various competitions. Instead of marching, they perform in one space and focus more on choreography. Granada is the home to the City of Livermore Guard, a colour guard that combines students from Granada and Livermore High School. During this year’s season, the Livermore Guard has been quite successful, winning first places in competitions and even winning the Regional AA Championship. Now that winter guard is over, members of the colour guard and the coaches can reflect on their season.

As the program has grown, it has come with a big challenge. Colour guard is not officially recognized as a sport, which makes things very difficult according to both coaches Sierra Sowa and Jamie Hjeltness.

It’s really hard not being recognized as a sport and therefore not having access to any facilities at either school. We have to book other places to rehearse which can be very difficult,” Coach Jamie said.

In addition, according to Coach Sierra, Our program is bigger than it has been in a while and we do not get to use the gyms on campus like the other sports do. Finding an indoor space that can accommodate us and provide comfortability and safety for our performers was a struggle this year.” 

Winning the regional championship was no easy feat for the Livermore guard. This is the first time the colour guard has won a championship in a very long time. It takes many practices to perfect all aspects of the performance including choreography, flag, sabre, and rifle tosses.

In addition, each performance every year has a different outfit and makeup that the guard members have to learn how to apply.

“We put our blood sweat and tears into practice for hours every week, trying to make all our hard work pay off,” one of the captains, Jenessa Mazerlev (11) from Livermore High said.

Granada student Sabreina Cullins (12) who is also a captain on the team said that she struggled with “learning how to lead this specific group just with tedious things like equipment maintenance, cleaning up storage, having everything in place and trying to always be on top of everything.”

Championships were nerve-wracking since according to Cullins “a lot of the times the scores can vary by a fraction of a point.”

Eventually, the team got the hang of it a for Coach Jamie, her favourite part of the season was, “when it clicked for all the kids. It was like a realization that they in fact were really good and this show was killer. Just watching the body language change and their confidence about themselves grow was incredible.”

For Coach Sierra, her favourite part of coaching was “Giving my students the opportunity to learn and grow together. I also enjoy teaching my students life skills that they can take with them when they graduate and beyond.” 

For Jenessa, as somebody who’s been doing colour guard for a while, this win means a lot. “Personally I’ve been in guard for over 5 years now and we never did good in any competition. Having that medal placed around my neck felt like for the first time, those five years actually meant something.”

“I cried,” said Coach Jamie, “but tears of joy because of how hard we worked this season and how much the kids deserved this.”

“There was a lot of anticipation before they announced the city of Livermore Guard for first so I was very nervous… I was really happy in the end,” said Sabreina, “I believe the season was so successful, because of how our coaches believed in us, and they were really supportive and always there to cheer us on and just having that made the whole group like a family.”

Both captains and coaches agree this was an award well earned. Congratulations to the Livermore Colour Guard for such an incredible season.