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The Illustrious Color Guard

The guard posing with their plaque after being awarded superior alongside the Million Dollar Band at MPA.

   The clock ticks down as halftime begins at every Miami High football game, and the team leaves the field to make way for the school’s Million Dollar Band. Alongside the band during performances, you’ll find the Color Guard dancing and doing crowdamazing tricks with their beautiful flags, costumes, and equipment.  
  Miami Senior High’s Color Guard with about 43 members performs with the Million Dollar Band and is comprised of the Stingarettes, with their pom poms, and Majorettes, with their batons. All summer and after-school during the football or band season, you’ll find them outside working hard hand-in-hand with the band to formulate the perfect show which often is ten minutes long.

The Stingarettes and Guard Advisor, Ms. Armas, at the Jr. Orange Bowl Christmas Parade on Miracle Mile.
The Majorettes at the Jr. Orange Bowl Christmas Parade on Miracle Mile.

  I was fortunate enough to become a Color Guard Stingarette after making tryouts in April 2023. We began with the basics of flag and worked into the summer learning tosses, dances, stretching and preparing for the upcoming football season. The entire summer consisted of hard but rewarding work, and although many may not give them the credit where it’s due, being a member of the guard or band is sure to keep you fit and active with numerous days ending with all drenched in sweat and tired yet happy. 
  Over the Stingarettes are senior Captain Katherine Aragon and junior Co-Captain Addis Smith. Over the Majorettes youll find sophomore Captain Stephanie Fortozo and junior Co-Captain Heidy Nunez.  
   The Color Guard are frequently confused for cheerleaders due to the Stingarettes carrying similar pom poms and both being school spirit groups that go to football games, but Guard is far from it. 
  “Color Guard is a type of visual art that includes, flag, rifle, and saber, at least in our school. Now most people don’t consider it a sport, but in my eyes the amount of time, energy, and practice we put into shows is on par with an activity that should be considered as such,” states Stingarette Captain Katherine Aragon. “You learn a lot of skills because of Guard, for example better memorization. It’s also taught me to be more confident in myself.” 
  Stingarette Co-Captain Addis Smith says, “Some positives of being in guard are the bonds you form with people, though a negative would be how timeconsuming and expensive it can be.”  
  The guard season usually costs over $300 per member. Regardless, the Guard and band have numerous fundraisers throughout the year to assist those who face financial issues but would still like to participate. 
   The guard also has socials for its members allowing them for downtime to get to know each other and have fun together outside practice, such as a movie, picnic, or pool party.

The Guard at their 2023 Christmas movie social.

   On November 4th, 2023, the Million Dollar Band, including the Color Guard, attended MPA, a band competition, where the band received a superior rating, the highest rating obtainable in band competition nature, and Color Guard played a large role in receiving this rating alongside the band.  
   Outside of band and football season, the guard continues to perform and work hard in the form of Winter Guard which begins around December and performs without the band.  
   Although being a member of the Guard is hard work and time consuming, it also creates memories and deep bonds. Junior Stingarette, Emily Millo, who is a third-year veteran, says, “One of my favorite highlights about Guard was when I was announced Best Rookie my freshman year at the band banquet. I was so proud of myself and wanted to improve more and more every day after that.” 
   “I love when we go to football games and get to dance hard,” said Emily Cruz, a junior Stingarette who joined this year. “When we all know and understand the routine it feels amazing knowing we look good. I also love getting ready for games or shows and feeling pretty. It’s amazing what guard can make you feel once everything comes together.” 
   Personally, the best thing that came out of being in guard for me is the friends I made that I will forever call my girls. These girls have been there for me through thick and thin, cried with me, laughed with me, and stuck with me in times no one else did. 
   The band wouldn’t truly be the band without the added flare of the guard. The guard wouldn’t be the Guard without the hard work, memories, and its members. And Miami High wouldn’t be The High without its illustrious guard tossing their flags high in the sky. 

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  • G

    Gia BraynonDec 14, 2023 at 6:04 pm

    I feel the article was well written. The article was also interesting reading how it made the students feel about a part of such an organization. It was great to read how their self esteem. confidence and memory increase.

  • E

    Eddye S. GayDec 14, 2023 at 5:49 pm

    Excellent story, I really enjoyed reading it and felt apart of the color guard. The photos are really beautiful and a special touch.

  • M

    Marc GayDec 14, 2023 at 5:01 pm

    Another Great article from the inside perspective of being a member of the Color Guard.. Congrats

  • V

    Veronica RahmingDec 14, 2023 at 4:51 pm

    The story was very interesting. It was very well written and it also brought back my favorite memories of my 3 years in the Miami Carol City band over fifty years ago.