‘Hahnville is back’ – two years after shutting down, color guard earns the gold 

Longtime Hahnville High School band director Eric Gueniot would have been proud enough of his color guard for the team members’ gold medal-winning performance at the annual LMCGPC Winterguard Championships, but the context behind the win made it far more special. 

Just two years after having to shut team operations down following Hurricane Ida – with almost half of the roster departing due to storm-related hardships – the Tigers had climbed back to championship form, its performance earning top honors in its division (Regional A).

The Tigers’ color guard established a strong reputation in the competitive field, earning gold medal wins in 2013 and 2015, a bronze medal in 2017 and other high finishes.  

But the program was forced to take steps back, starting in 2020 with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic – HHS was ranked second in its division at the time. The competition that season was cancelled, and in 2021 it was resumed but held virtually. The 2022 guard ended competitive endeavors after Hurricane Ida – making it three years in a row that the team would not competitively perform in public.

Last season, the guard returned to competition and finished fourth at the Winterguard Championships, the first live event for every team member. This season, the squad made the jump to first.  

“To be two years back from folding because of Ida, to become champions felt great – I couldn’t be prouder of them,” Gueniot said. “Two years ago, we couldn’t field a team.”

Many are familiar with the color guard for its performances during Hahnville football games alongside the band. But after football season concludes, the work continues as the color guard evolves into the competitive ranks. Winterguard is an indoor sport usually performed during the winter or spring, where the guard performs unaccompanied by a marching band to a piece of music indoors. As is the case on the football field as well, the guard performs using equipment and emotional connections – facial expressions, dance and sometimes voice – to the audience to enhance the meaning and feeling of the show.

The theme of Hahnville’s performance this year was “Coming Home.” Each team chooses a piece of music and builds around a theme using props, costume and performance to paint the picture for the judges.  

It turned out to be a pleasing picture for the judges, and Hahnville was onto its third gold medal in the past decade.  

There were 10 team members on this year’s guard, including team captain Alison Anderson, who also won a silver medal for her second-place performance in the individual competition.  

“The moment we were called out for first place, I felt nothing less than proud of what we can achieve when we come together as a team and share a common goal,” Anderson said. “All of us have worked hard and earned what we received, and I’m beyond blessed to be a part of it.”

Gueniot said it felt good to see his team members hearing some positive buzz about themselves at the event as well.  

“People liked what we were doing and had heard about it. ‘Oh, you’re Hahnville, you’re the ones who do this (performance),’” said Gueniot. “It was like, ‘Hahnville is back.’ In the classification we run in, we were always competitive and had a good reputation. Then we didn’t go out (competitively) at all and people kind of forgot about us.”

Team members were Maya Morel, Alison Anderson, Ryleigh Daous, Violet Kokemoor, Lucy Baudoin, Hailey Gatewood, A’myah Jackson, Alana Folse, Elle Johnson and Ryley Toups. 

 

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