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Color guards compete in Franklin County

February 25, 2007|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Pa. - Staring into the air, Amanda Clark watched the heavy white rifle spin end over end as she poised her hands for the catch.

Landing in her hands with a clap, the audience exploded in applause.

"I always have trouble with this part," she said earlier Saturday while she practiced the move.

Even though the senior color guard member at Greencastle-Antrim Senior High School has caught the rifle thousands of times, catching it for an audience at her school was different. Catching it in two competitions that day made her smile.

Hundreds of people came to Franklin County Saturday to watch Amanda and dozen of local students spin flags and drumsticks in indoor drill competitions.

Hosted by Greencastle-Antrim Senior High School and Waynesboro Area Senior High School, the competitions were judged by the Keystone Indoor Drill Association.

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More than 30 schools traveled to the area for the shows and for many schools, the day began with a competition at Greencastle in the morning and ended with Waynesboro in the evening.

The Greencastle-Antrim percussion and guard performed in both shows Saturday, but Sam Forney, music director for Greencastle, said a host school does not compete in its own competition. Rather, he said it performs as an exhibition.

Malcolm McCoy, indoor percussion director for Waynesboro, said when a host school performs in exhibition, it is judged, but the score is kept private.

"Only the host school is allowed to know its score because it would not be fair to those who competed," he said.

As Greencastle's indoor guard warmed up for exhibition Saturday, instructor Jay Wetzel encouraged the group to keep a positive attitude.

"I view this as just a dress rehearsal for tonight," he said.

While the Greencastle competition was relatively small, Waynesboro was a full competition, McCoy said.

"There were schools who wanted to come, but we are limited to the number of groups, and I had to turn some away," he said.

"This reminds me of championships, all these people," Wetzel said of the competition.

The Waynesboro competition was extra special, according to guard instructor Alice Sanders, because it marked the school's 25th anniversary of indoor guard.

To honor the anniversary, Sanders said Waynesboro invited all alumni to participate in the performance, which included elements from Waynesboro's last 25 shows.

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