The Woodlands World Guard Wins Bronze at WGI National Championship
THE WOODLANDS, TX -- “For the first time in school history.” This phrase is often said when a school first opens or gets bumped up into a different region/division. It is not often that this phrase is uttered to a 25-plus year-old school. But in early April, The Woodlands High School Color Guard made history as they win Bronze at the National level.
Cyndi Robbins, The Woodlands High School World Guard director, took her freshman, sophomores, juniors, and seniors to Dayton, Ohio to attended the WGI National Championships. To say this was top level competition was an understatement. World Guards from around the country would compete that Thursday, Friday and Saturday to a massive audience.
'As I walked into the arena my heart filled with excitement and joy as I saw all the faces of the people, I love, that had come to watch me do my favorite thing, color guard. We have prepared for this all year, and we finally got to show everyone what we had accomplished. Hands down best performance ever!' said Sophomore Landry Rouse.
A chance to attend even a post season competition is sometimes missed by a couple of points, but this team was incredible. Director Robbins grew this team since 2014 when she took over the program. She made quick work of upping their class from the “A Class” to the “World Class” where they would compete with the top in the nation.
“The whole experience was mind blowing, from walking in the tunnel to hearing the crowd scream our name.” Said Senior and Lieutenant Grace Phelps as they entered the arena.
The Woodlands World Guard was to preform “The Doors are Open”, which they have been rehearsing all year, in hopes of showcasing it to a national audience. They would ultimately toss almost 3-pound solid wooden rifles and almost 2-pound stainless steel sabres [sabers] for the 3 days of the competition. Not to mention the 56” flags on 6-foot poles they would be waving throughout the entirety of the performance.
“Getting to walk off the floor knowing that you just gave it everything you had, and you know that was a super good performance is one of the top 3 favorite moments in my life.” Said Junior and Squad Leader Lindsay Telotte about their performances.
With emotion filling the arena, The Woodlands would finally hear their fate on that Saturday. Among hundreds of Color Guards around the country, they would place 3rd overall. This marks the first time in school history the Color Guard would place at Nationals.
Junior Angela Newton said after the performance, “I just never thought we would have the chance to be this good. One thing that stuck with me the most is that I tend to spend my time on Instagram looking at other color guards' accounts and watching everyone live.” She continued, “…we went to Dayton the fact that I saw all these people that I looked up to from Instagram and videos in person just amazed me.'
Behind the scenes, this competition wouldn’t happen without all of the proud parents and volunteers following the team around The Woodlands and other locations. Many of the competitions aren’t free and with fundraisers and donations from everyone supporting the team, they were able to attend Nationals and make history.
This is a nationally ranked team and will be back in the future with bigger and better performances. The Woodlands High School Color Guard, directed by Cyndi Robbins, has closed this door in their high school careers, only to open another in hopes for a great future.
For Freshman Juliana Branham, history has been made in her short career as a color guard. She said, “Making history with this group of people was amazing and I am so glad I got to be a part of that moment.” She, just like a hand full of her team members, still have another 3 years with this team. People will come and go, but this is something someone doesn’t forget.
The Woodlands didn’t just make history for the school, they made history among schools around Texas, grabbing the highest honor that the World Guard offers. They have tasted a top 3 win, now its time to be the best in the nation. Director Robbins will once again gather her team next year and try to pursue another championship.
Special thanks to The Woodlands Color Guard, Cyndi Robbins and Kendra Phelps.