Left in the shadow of most Leigh activities lies the nationally recognized Winter and Color Guard teams. Spending 15 hours on the football field and in the gym per week, wearing multiple layers of clothes, standing in the freezing cold, not going home until the street lights turn on, these superstars practice endlessly in order to perfect that one move. Senior Sam Donnelly has spent four years doing exactly this. Because of jaw-dropping performers like her, in 2013, Leigh decided to make varsity team in addition to a JV team. Obviously when that decision needed to be made there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Donnelly would be among those select few underclassmen on varsity as a sophomore. In fact, she was named a captain for Winter Guard her sophomore year and both teams her junior and senior years.
Donnelly dedicates her time to this activity year-round, as captain for both the Color Guard and Winter Guard teams. Color Guard is performed with the marching band, performing around the football field to the band’s live music during halftime at football games and during competitions on the weekend. Winter Guard takes place indoor and it is performed to a soundtrack of music, opposed to the live music of the band.
Donnelly loves competing with the Color Guard team, but prefers preparing for Winter Guard more. Sam claims that it is the rush of performing and the people that kept her involved.
“I can’t picture my life without these color guard people”, said Donnelly.
Before every performance they read a poem called “I Will Not Fear” which shakes away the nerves. Next, Sam and her teammates eat mints because “you should suck now, so you don’t suck later.” Finally, she leads a pre-performance ritual called “Smell Good, Spin Good,” where Donnelly sprays perfume on each teammate and then they spin, hence the title “Smell Good, Spin Good.”
“Every show, every season is new. I have new responsibilities and sometimes, especially when my parents are watching I get nervous, but most of the time I am not,” said Donnelly.
Winter and Color guard are both extremely lucky to have a leader, performer, and star as bright as Sam Donnelly!