Q&A: Katie Palmer (12)

Katie+Palmer+%2812%29+poses+with+the+rifle+after+tossing+it+in+the+air.+Palmer+has+been+on+the+color+guard+team+every+year+she+has+been+at+Lake+Central.+

Katie Palmer (12) poses with the rifle after tossing it in the air. Palmer has been on the color guard team every year she has been at Lake Central.

Cynthia Zatlokowicz

Q: What made you join color guard?

A: Lake Central’s open guard winter show, called Aftermath, in 2011 when I was in the 8th grade. Their skill level and the excitement they had while performing made me want to join.

Q: What is it like being a senior on the team?

A: Being a senior on the team is fun because you already know all of the skills and requirements, so you mainly focus on helping the underclassmen and excelling at more advanced tricks.

Q: When are color guard competitions?

A: [The competitions are] primarily on Saturdays during the night, but during [Bands of America] it is more scattered since we draw what time we play from a hat for the days that we compete.

Q: How many people are on the team?

A: This year we have 21 high schoolers and 18 middle schoolers [on the team].

Q: How long does the team practice for?

A: During the summer [the team has] preseason and practices [that] run from 1-6 [p.m.] or 1-5 [p.m.], then we have Band Camp which is two weeks long and ten hours a day. School practices on weekdays are three hours and four days a week. We also practice on Saturdays from 8-5 unless we have a competition that day.

Q: On average, how many times do you drop the items you throw when you first begin?

A: When I first started spinning rifles, I was either bear hugging the gun or it was on the ground.

Q: What does it take to get on the team?

A: To get on the team, it takes a willingness to try and an eagerness to improve.

Q: What schools are your top competitors?

A: [Our top competitors are] Homestead, Avon and Carmel [High School].

Q: How often do you run into band members during practice?

A: At the beginning of the season we practice with the band two days a week and slowly move up to three, four, and eventually everyday we practice. At first, you collide with them quite a few times, but as you learn your drills, it becomes more rare.

Q: Which item is hardest to throw?

A: I have to say the saber. You do two different primary tosses with it and it tends to hurt the most so people are scared of catching it.