Graham readies indoor guard for new season


Brendan Harris

Junior Julia Graham, a member of the indoor color guard, began performing in her freshman year as a continuation of the outdoor color guard.

Brendan Harris and Seth Franco

While the color guard is known for performing under the Friday night lights for hundreds of spectators at football games, their season continues as they shift inside to perform as the indoor guard.

Junior Julia Graham, a member of the indoor color guard, began performing in her freshman year as a continuation of the outdoor color guard. 

Graham is now the section leader. This is her third year performing and she has bigger ambitions than ever before.

“This year, I want to have a bigger and better show than we had last year. I also want to get more kids involved with the activity in the future,” Graham said. 

Graham’s role as section leader has also led her to take on new and challenging responsibilities, but she has found it easy to manage.

“It’s pretty chill. Sometimes it can be stressful, but I have other people who help me so I’m not alone,” Graham said. 

The indoor color guard travels to the competitions with the indoor percussion team, though they are two separate teams that each get their own scores at the competitions.

The season spans about 10 competitions. The first competition this season is at Greater Latrobe on Feb. 4. 

This year in guard, Graham is most excited for the Alice in Wonderland theme of their show. She was not satisfied with last year’s scores, but she is hopeful for this coming year. 

“Last year we didn’t do the best, but we did well for what we had. This year I think we’re going to do really well,” she said.

Graham tends to prefer indoor guard over outdoor guard. She says that the two are more different than some may assume. 

“In indoor there’s no wind or outside elements we have to deal with. We just work in the gym. My preference is probably indoor,” Graham said. 

Graham’s favorite piece of equipment is the rifle. But it proved to be challenging when she first picked it up.

“Learning the basics was the hardest, and then learning new skills. The rifle tosses are also the most challenging out of any of the tosses I do,” she said. 

Graham’s love for the sport runs deep – so much so that she put in extra effort to become the section leader. 

Her work ethic and her passion for guard are among the reasons she excels, her teammates say. Sophomore Mary Harmon, one of Graham’s teammates, praised her unique skill.

“I think her skill sets her apart. She’s really good and she trains really hard,” Harmon said. 

Sophomore Emma Smerback said Graham is not only a great guard member, but also a great friend.

“She is super nice, really funny, and gets along with everyone. That’s why she is our section leader,” Smerbeck said. 

Graham’s friends also see her as an inspiration in her role as section leader, and they try to offer her support as well.

“She’s been a really close friend of mine and I want to be as skilled as her. I think it’s good for her to have someone to go to when she has problems, and I try to be there,” Harmon said.

Graham was inspired to work hard in the guard by her close friend, 2022 grad and guard member Payton Fleszar.

“Payton was like a mentor to me. She helped get me motivated when we worked together,” Graham said.

Graham hopes that her passion for color guard will not end when she leaves Baldwin.

“I hope that I can continue my color guard career even after I graduate from high school,” she said.