Color is so important that it’s even part of the name: You see all shades in the uniforms and flags of a typical color guard. Most of the routines of the 60 units competing in the 2015 Western Color Guard Championships, held Saturday and Sunday at the Save Mart Center, were splashed with various hues — from blood red to cool ocean blue.
But not the Clovis North High School Color Guard, which beat out 13 other schools in the finals to capture first place in the Scholastic A division. Black and white was the school’s theme, suggesting the crisp formality of a tuxedo. The solid black uniforms and white flags and rifles — all part of a color guard’s traditional arsenal — complemented the choreography and visual effect of the routine.
In a day of flashy color, Clovis North stood out for its cool elegance.
Diamond Bar High School of Diamond Bar placed second in the division, and Amador Valley High School of Pleasanton placed third. Among local schools, Merced High received a sixth place trophy, Clovis High placed 10th, and Sierra Pacific High of Hanford placed 12th.
Color guards are best known for their role in marching bands during the fall. But during the winter, the ensembles compete by themselves to recorded music with routines that often include elements of classical ballet and modern dance along with marching-band effects.
Clovis West High School, competing in the tougher Scholastic Open division — one of three divisions in which high schools competed — scored third place. Mission Viejo High School of Mission Viejo and James Logan High School of Union City placed first and second in that division, respectively.
The western championships attracted entries from as far as Utah. It’s the last step before the Winter Guard International Color Guard World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, held April 16-18.
Three of the divisions competing at the Save Mart Center were open to college and adult groups. Frente of Fresno State placed seventh in the Independent World division, the toughest category. Walking away with the top trophy was the Santa Clara Vanguard.