FHS Winter Guard members compete for top honors

By Amanda Crowe acrowe@civitasmedia.com

April 4, 2014

FAIRBORN — Three Fairborn High School students are hoping their months of hard work will pay off as they compete at the Winter Guard International (WGI) World Championships this weekend.

WGI centers on providing a venue for young people to pursue excellence in both performance and competition through nationwide color guard and indoor percussion regional competitive events.

Seniors Hannah Boggs and Katie Walker compete with O2 Color Guard in Independent World Class and sophomore Kimberly Smith is in O3 Color Guard in Independent A Class. Both groups performed during the preliminary competitions Thursday, April 3. The semi-finals are today, Friday, April 4, where O2 will compete at UD Arena and O3 will perform at the Cintas Center at Xavier University.

“O2 and O3 are both ranked high in their individual classes,” said Heather Boggs, Hannah’s mother. “As long as both groups place in the top 15 of their individual classes, they will be performing in finals competition.”

O3 class finals will be Friday evening at UD Arena and O2 class finals will be on Saturday evening at UD Arena.

According to Boggs, all three girls auditioned in September and have been practicing and performing throughout several states to prepare for the championships. They began practicing every Sunday in September and increased practice after marching band season ended. By November they were with their groups practicing every Friday evening and all day on Saturday and Sunday.

“They have not had a weekend off since they started in September and Hannah and Katie had to sacrifice going on their senior class trip in New York to be a part of this elite group,” Boggs said. “The guards are based out of Dayton. However, many members are from several different states and there are even teammates from Japan.”

This is Hannah Boggs’ third year, Walker’s second year, and Smith’s first year with these groups. They all began performing in Color Guard through programs with the Fairborn City Schools.

Hannah began competing with the Fairborn Jr Flag Line in seventh grade and continued in eighth grade. During her freshman year, she performed with both the Fairborn Jr Flag Line and Sr Flag Line.

“Her sophomore year she auditioned for and received a spot with O2. The group went on that year to win first place at WGI World Championships in Independent Open Class and was promoted to Independent World Class,” said Boggs. “Hannah also performed all four years of high school in the Fairborn Marching Band and Color Guard serving as Guard Captain her sophomore, junior, and senior years.”

She is also a member of National Honor Society and is the current Group Commander for the Fairborn JROTC.

Walker began performing with Fairborn Sr Flag Line her freshman year of high school and continued with that group her sophomore year. She auditioned for and received her spot with O2 her junior year. She was a member of the Fairborn High School Marching Band and Color Guard throughout her high school career. She played clarinet her freshman year before switching to color guard for her sophomore, junior, and senior years.

Smith moved to Fairborn her freshman year when her father was transferred to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

“She walked into the first day of band camp and joined the color guard,” Boggs said.

Smith performed with the Fairborn Marching Band and Color Guard both her freshman and sophomore years, and was also a member of the Fairborn Sr Flag Line during her freshman year. This year she auditioned for and received her spot with O3.

For more information and a full schedule of the 2014 WGI World Championships, visit www.wgi.org.