A captain’s point of view
Senior year is full of last firsts. For example: there’s the last first day of school or the last first football game, but for Anna Nelson, and many other seniors in the La Porte High School Marching Band, her last first invitational steadily approached.
Nelson has been involved in the color guard and winter guard program at LPHS for the past five years. Her love for this “sport of the arts” began when she was in fourth grade due to her two older sisters, Rachel and Nicole, participating in it.
This year is Nelson’s third year as a guard captain, which means she, along with two others, are the student leaders in charge of the rest of the group. Guard captain responsibilities include: leading stretches and warmups, assisting the instructor in teaching the work to the rest of the guard, being an example to the rest of the guard and many more.
“Being a guard captain is stressful at times. If something goes wrong, the directors look at you and you basically get blamed for it. It’s a hard job, but it has also taught me a lot of leadership skills,” Nelson said.
With endless hours of rehearsals on weekdays and weekends in the summer through the fall, then the winter through spring for winter guard, free time for Nelson is scarce. For color guard, parade camp and band camp are in the summer, usually on weekdays for more than six hours.
When school is in session, rehearsals are on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, with possible home football games being on Friday and competitions on Saturdays. Winter guard season starts soon after marching band is over with; rehearsals are on Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, with competitions on Sundays.
“The hardest part for me was probably the fact that you don’t have a lot of free time, but I just had to adjust to it over the years,” Nelson said.
Friday night home football games usually include a halftime performance by the LPHS Marching Band, which gives the guard a chance to show their peers and local community their show.
“I wish people knew how much hard work goes into creating a show and how difficult it is, despite what it looks like. Many might think what we do is really easy, but spinning the equipment is more complicated than what it seems and a lot goes into everything,” Nelson said.
Senior year can be bittersweet for many. Nelson has certainly left a mark on the group of students in guard and with no doubt will leave her all on the field, and the floor this year, keeping La Porte Guard among the best teams in the nation.