Oakdale High School Colorguard is primed for a new year.
The 2019-2020 edition of the group, 22 members strong, includes a total of 10 incoming freshmen. A fact which may have some raising eyebrows, questioning the youth of the team, but nonetheless has new coach Cassie Calvin excited.
Calvin, a colorguard veteran herself and Class of 2019 OHS alum, is genuinely excited about the team’s potential.
“They all know how to spin,” Calvin said of a skill which typically takes time to learn. “Normally we only have 10 or 11 that know how and I’d have to teach the rest.”
A longtime colorguard team member while a student at Oakdale schools, Calvin is excited by the notion of being able to lead the team and share the skills she’s acquired since first joining “guard” under the leadership of Danessa Menge as a seventh grader at Oakdale Junior High.
“I love it. There’s just something about it,” she said. “There’s the physical aspect which keeps you in shape and that’s great but then there’s also the art aspect where you can create this wonderful show with it.”
The OHS alum shared the positivity and energy of the team is already infectious. With just one senior returning, along with some juniors and sophomores, the veterans of the team quickly embraced the incoming freshmen in a way which she found both refreshing and encouraging.
The team began practicing together in early August. They share a class period together daily as well as two after schools practices every week. Due to her own school schedule, Calvin attends two of the class periods and every after school practice.
“It’s great to see them coming along at the speed that they are,” she said.
The fall season of competition will begin for the team later this month and wrap up in November. In late November they will switch hats and begin preparing for Winterguard competition.
“I love coaching because I love seeing the girls grow. I like seeing each one improve and I like seeing them improve as a group,” Calvin stated. “This is the first year we’ve had so many strong people together on one unit. We’re progressing faster and faster and everyone’s pushing each other.”
Calvin shared she feels the future looks both bright and promising for the young team and remains committed to keeping the positive environment to inspire the squad.