[Brief] MSD Color Guard competes in World Guard Finals for the first time since the start of COVID-19

Briana Martin and Kayla Gamm

Nick Hernandez

On Saturday, April 9, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s Color Guard competed in the Scholastic World Guard Championships, more commonly known as WGI, at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio.

The competition lasted from Thursday, April 7 to Sunday, April 10. Out of over 500 teams in the country, MSD’s World Guard team placed 14, scoring a 77.200 out of 100 points and leaving as Scholastic World Class finalists.

MSD’s World Guard team is made up of 18 members led by captains Lauren Clark, Emily Liin and Hayli Siegel. The theme for their performance was a game competition and included a soundtrack reminiscent of the popular Korean Netflix show, “Squid Games.”

Preparing for the championship consisted of four months of diligent rehearsals almost every day, with practices lasting up to four hours each time. In addition to practices, the team designed their color-coded costumes to include their overall game theme colors: blue, pink and yellow.

Clark, Liin and Siegel are all seniors at MSD who have been a part of the MSD Color Guard for numerous years. Competitions such as the WGI Championships provide the opportunity for the less experienced ensemble to gain more experience and exposure at large-scale competitions and advance together as a team.

“Being in colorguard is about having fun and this last competition, that’s what it was all about,” Liin said. “I wanted my girls to be calm and collected, but also excited to be able to get the opportunity to perform in the Dayton Arena.”

Despite a few obstacles they faced in putting on a unique show, the color guard captains are proud of leading their team to success in the final competition of the 2021-2022 school year.

“Some of the challenges that we faced were the fact that a show theme like this has never been done before,” Clark said. “A lot of times, it was hard to figure out how to make this theme come across in a way where any age group can understand it, having four different soundtracks and having to listen to a voice to determine how you do your show was a challenge in itself.”

Since December, the World Guard Team has worked vigorously in their regional competitions to qualify for the World Championships in Dayton, Ohio. Despite the challenges, MSD World Guard’s performance was an unforgettable experience for the team.

“My favorite moment performing at this last competition was probably catching that last toss and feeling the relief and happiness lift from my body and also sadness because I know that will be my last time competing at that arena and doing colorguard,” Liin said.

The World Guard Championships marks the end of the color guard season, but the team plans to work hard to continue to excel in future competitions.