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First Place For Cardozo Color Guard
Top Squad
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The Cardozo Middle School Color Guard team members celebrate their first place at a competition on Feb. 6 at Johansen High School. Photo Contributed


Cardozo Middle School’s Color Guard group has been bringing it these past few Color Guard competitions, with the group claiming a couple of first place honors. Captains Evalina Carrillo and Yvette Tlatepa are really excited along with their teammates that they are on top. Band Director, Color Guard Coach Dave Howard led his group of 17 seventh and eighth graders to first place wins at two competitions in the month of February.

The first competition was held on Saturday, Feb. 6 at Johansen High School and the other competition on Saturday, Feb. 20 was held at Enochs High School. There were five other schools that participated in the competition along with Cardozo. Between the six schools at the competition the girls expressed that Ustach Middle School and Weaver Middle School were tough schools to beat. To their surprise, they admitted, they pulled out a first place win.

Weaver Middle School has taken first place the last couple of years.

The second competition featured three schools, Ustach, Cardozo and Weaver where Cardozo captured first place again.

“We were quite excited that all of a sudden we were on top,” added Howard. “Ustach and Cardozo have always run neck and neck and after the first competition the point totals were such that really anyone could have taken first.”

Cardozo’s routine with bright pink and yellow flags and four rifles has a car wash theme that they perform to the “Car Wash” song.

The schools that compete in the first competition have the opportunity to compete in the championships. They do not have to compete in all the competitions but they do need to compete in the first one to make it to the championships.

“So we know how many we are competing against for championships,” said Howard. “Some actually go to other circuits to see how they stack up against other circuits.”

There are five judges at the competitions that carefully review the students on movement, the equipment, the design of the show and general effect.

“One of the hardest things is keeping the energy level up because we learn the show and then it becomes the normal and so sometimes you just go through the motions instead of really putting 100 percent into it,” stated Howard. “The groups that continue to push themselves to be better in the middle of that issue are the ones that usually end up on top.”

There is dancing and intense scrubbing that is part of their ‘Car Wash’ routine along with changes and new additions that they do for each competition which keeps their performance fresh. The team has seven minutes to roll out their mat, set up for their performance, perform for three-and-a-half minutes and wrap everything up. If they go over seven minutes they will be penalized.

The color guard group is extremely excited about their two first place wins but they know that they have to continue to work hard to keep that position.

“We brought more energy last Saturday,” expressed Howard. “So the last end of our show had much more energy and that energy helped propel us to first place.”

The next competition will be held at Gregori High School on Saturday, March 5.