Heights High School’s Very Own “Sport of the Arts”


Dough Opher

Heights High School Color Guard at their TCGC championships in 2022.

Color Guard is a sport for all sorts of people. Different teams compete in dancing with metal sabers, wooden rifles, and 7-foot-tall flags that spin mid-air in the most majestic movements. It is considered “the sport of the arts” because of the creative elements seen in the shows these groups produce. Though you may not be familiar with it, color guard is a large phenomenon worldwide. Some countries like Japan even host near Olympic-level color guard championships and competitions. These events happen commonly in America as well. States with the most significant presence of color guard teams are Oklahoma, Alabama, and Texas. Even though Texas is in the top three states, it is surprisingly rare to find active and competitive guard teams stationed in this region, specifically in Houston ISD. That is why Heights High School is proud to say that our school has its amazing Color Guard team.

Heights’ famed marching season, which lasts from August to November, is an interactive period where the band executes outstanding halftime performances at football games. During this time, the Color Guard is right there on the field. This year, the band performed a show entitled “Homeward Bound,” and the Guard helped brighten the field with an exciting ensemble of colorful flags and tosses in the air.

The Color Guard is a very talented team that continues to amaze the crowds and gain popularity for Heights. Those in the Guard attend extensive practices, perform in front of large crowds in different cities, toss seven-foot poles in the air without hurting themselves (that often), and dance while handling weapons. At a recent state competition, the Guard even brought home a “Best Color Guard” award.

After three and half months of participating in the marching season as part of the Heights High School Band, the Color Guard breaks off into their competitive season called “Winter Guard.” During this time, the group competes against Color Guard teams from inside and outside Houston. This year, our Heights team performed a show entitled “Photograph” under the direction of their coach Matthew Caballero. While they have yet to win first place, they have had an impressive streak of raising average points per competition, going from a 62 to a 75 in just three months–remarkable progress for a group that consists of members who had never even touched any Color Guard equipment before the summer of 2021. Now that the Winter Guard season has ended, the Heights Color Guard is finishing the school year with tryouts for new members in preparation for the next marching season.

The Heights Color Guard is not just a compilation of competitions and hard work. The team also has a generous amount of fun together by having meetups outside of school and traveling on three-hour bus rides. Camille Garcia, a long-time team member, says, “when you join guard, you’re not just competing and practicing—you’re making memories, friends, and just having an overall good time.”

This year, the Heights team took a trip to Austin’s Park, an amusement center in Austin, Texas, where the fun never stops. They rode roller coasters, drove go-karts, and played arcade games half the night long. The heights Guard also spends nights at hotels during traveling competitions, where magical moments occur that you can remember later on. Along with the fun parts, the Guard’s uniqueness is the general inclusivity. The team members provide a safe space where anyone can fit in. The Heights Color Guard is a competitive, inclusive visual ensemble that makes our school proud. If you, the readers, ever want to join, know that you will undoubtedly enjoy the experience.