By Steven Law
Special to the Chronicle
PAGE – Page High School’s color guard took first place in the fall season’s first outdoor competition.
The Sand Devils color guard is made up of only two students, Braxton Harris and Arabell Grimshaw. Harris is a junior and Grimshaw is sophomore. This is Harris’s fourth year in color guard, and Grimshaw’s fifth. Students can join the color guard as early as seventh grade.
The competition took place at Bradshaw Mountain High School in Prescott, Arizona, against seven other teams.
The color guard performs with the high school marching band. Their performance adds to the marching band’s score, but the color guard is also judged separately.
“It has been hard to stay committed to color guard with only two of them, but they have remained dedicated to this sport they love,” said Crystal Codner, the color guard coach at PHS. Codner took over the color guard last season after its previous instructor left.
“It takes a lot of confidence to go onto the field and perform when there are only two of you on the team,” Codner said. “The other schools have larger color guard teams, with as many as 30 people. With that many people if you make a mistake it won’t stand out too bad, but when there are only two of you, any mistake you make really stands out.”
Grimshaw and Harris have some very technical portions of their performance. One part of it includes throwing their sabers in the air, which are spinning and then catching them behind their backs – an act that has taken scores of hours to perfect.
Part of the team’s winning score came from their level of technicality and difficulty and some from the characterization they bring onto the field and project into the performance, said Codner.
Band Director David Johnson, who works closely with Codner and the color guard, has great respect for Codner, Grimshaw and Harris and what they add to the marching band’s performances. He gave particular kudos to Codner who stepped in and salvaged the program after its previous instructor left.
“What she’s done for the group has been amazing,” he said.