D.C.H.S. Winter Guard in Tennessee State Championship (View video here)

April 18, 2022
By: Bill Conger

The D.C.H.S. Winter Guard recently performed at the Tennessee State Championship, placing 9th out of 14 color guards in the Novice class at Columbia Central High School.

The Winter Guard put on a 3-minute 20-second show titled “The Crown.”

“The concept is a chess game where two queens battle for the throne and ultimately the Crown and only one can rule the kingdom,” explains Shannon Johns, Color Guard Director for the D.C.H.S. Fighting Tiger Band. “We start with a white and black team and emerge with a red queen who is the final ruler of the kingdom.”

The guard practiced every Saturday in November through March and added extra Friday night practices as possible. They also competed at Wilson Central High School and placed 8th out of 14 color guards in the Novice class while they placed 9th out of 18 teams at Summit High School.

“This group of kids has been amazing,” Johns says. “They range from 7th to 12th graders and have been so great to work with. They have great attitudes and a wonderful team spirit. I truly believe some have made lifelong friendships from this activity. They have improved tremendously since the start of the season. A handful of them had never touched a piece of equipment before November, and they fit right in with the rest now.”

Johns explains how the group of rifle/flag/sabre members devise the show.

“First, we come up with a song that we can live with hearing on repeat for four months (lol but really true) and then we build the whole concept of the show around it. After that, we decide where it makes sense to have dance, flag, rifles and sabres or combinations of each. Next, we start writing equipment work and choreography that goes with the music and putting it together with drill including transitions on and off the floor. Throughout the season we make improvements as we see things not working or based on judge’s feedback.”

Members of the Winter Guard are as follows: Serenity Burgess, Jacklyn Kleparek, Crissy White, Bairon Hernandez-Avalos, Olivia Diego, Jamey Bradshaw, BJ Mosley, Ashton McClain, Eli Martin, Hannah Swoape, Hannah Finan, Elizabeth Cardin, Yoana Hernandez-Avalos, Jazmine Wagner, Ally Morris, Elizabeth Mosley, Kamryn Knowles, and Cameron Smith. Hannah Finan was the Captain, and Hannah Swoape and Eli Martin served as Co-Captains.

Johns says she would like thank all those who helped make the winter color guard season a success.

“We had wonderful support from our parents, my assistant Emily Wallace, who is a former color guard captain from the 2017 season, Erica Birmingham, who helped with our music and choreography for the queens, [Band Director] Don and Kim Whitt for their never ending support and for coming to every competition.”

Anyone interested in following the group on Facebook can go to the private FB page (contact Shannon Franklin Johns to be added) and Instagram (@dekalbcgrox).

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