The team won all seven competitions it competed in this season.

The Newsome High School varsity winter guard had an outstanding showing in Dayton Beach from March 27-28 at the Florida Federation of Colorguards Circuit (FFCC) State Championships, claiming first place with an overall score of 91.37 while going undefeated on the season.

Senior captain Remi Nowland was very proud of her team and was overwhelmed with emotion after finding out that they won the contest.

“It was amazing, I was crying tears of joy,” said Nowland. “All the hard work we put in paid off when we took our last steps onto the floor.”

Third-year Newsome High School Band Director Mitchell Reed, who directs the color guard, said that the team not only had its own personal highest score in all seven competitions it competed in this season, it was also the highest score of the whole season in the entire A-class. The team, which was led by 11 seniors, won decisively by almost a four-point margin at states against a total of 19 schools, capping off a perfect season in which they won first place at every competition they participated in.

Senior captain Yasmin Thompson, who was on varsity color guard for all four years, will always remember celebrating with her team, soaking up the moment with her coaches and the color guard parents after the competition, especially because they were not able to participate in last year’s FFCC State Championships due to COVID-19.

“After we won, we went to take pictures to commemorate the moment,” said Thompson. “We were placed at the top of the stair to be photographed, and looking down from the top, I could see the smiles of all our parents and how proud they were of us.”

Reed said that his team faced many challenges this season with COVID-19, including a late start and scheduling changes, as well as having kids quarantined at different parts of the season, throughout their run.

“They were able to overcome and really performed the best they’ve done the last couple of years,” said Reed. “Just seeing them fight through that adversity has made me really proud.”

Before the team went to states, the Newsome student body and staff encouraged and celebrated them with a clap-out to wish them luck. The entire school came out into the courtyard and along the railings on the second story and cheered for the kids as they walked through the school with the drumline playing in the background.

Reed is very appreciative of his dedicated volunteer color guard staff that puts in endless hours of time to help make the students successful, as well as the Newsome administration for its support of the program. Color Guard Director Jamie Escobar-Dyer, who is a Hillsborough County elementary school teacher, is a color guard specialist who helps out with every practice.

“The administration here is just so supportive with what we are doing and it really, honestly wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t have their support,” said Reed.

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Nick Nahas has written for the Osprey Observer since 2016. He has lived in the Valrico area since 2002 and has his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. He is dedicated to covering sports in Hillsborough County at every level.