Senioritis pushes student to pursue interest instead of coasting through final year

There seems to be a greater push to make students plan their future at a younger age. As fourth graders are expected to make decisions now that will affect them in high school. Sometimes though, students don’t know what they are interested in until they are older and have been exposed to different activities. Senior Clifton Johnson has experienced this shift in interest first-hand and tried something new his senior year.

“I dreamed about doing color guard since my freshman year,” Clifton said. “When I was in band, I used to watch the color guard perform and I always wanted to join, so I did my senior year.”

Clifton’s hard work has paid off during the year on the color guard team, earning him a spot on varsity after a few short months.

“Since our freshman year Clifton has been in love with the color guard activity,” senior captain Ana Tucker said. “Since he’s joined, he has developed a strong work ethic. He is constantly practicing and encourages others to do the same. He is a great example to follow and demonstrates a desire to be great in everything he does.”

Color guard director Marie Debellis also recognized Clifton’s willingness to work and learn.

“Clifton has a strong work ethic,” Debellis said. “He has developed a strong skill set in a very short amount of time.”

Clifton’s work ethic is only eclipsed by his positive attitude as teammates use his outlook to help make them better.

“Clifton is a great person to spin with,” Ana said. “He’s very positive, encouraging, and motivates his teammates to strive for excellence.”

New color guard members usually come with no prior experience but Debellis works with students who have a passion for the activity and helps them develop quickly.

“Most people who try out for color guard start with no prior skill, or experience,” Debellis said. “As the director of the color guard, I am perfectly open to starting students from scratch, but I would love for potentials to come with a good work ethic, a willingness to learn new skills, and a great attitude.”

Participating in any extracurricular takes work and effort, but when a student starts something new their senior year, they have to stay even more focused to succeed.

“Being on varsity is stressful,” Clifton said, “but the accomplishments that we have earned is a big eye opener for me. I enjoy it, but it’s hard, especially since it’s my first year, but I just have to keep going at it and keep getting better.”

Color guard is hosting their annual tryouts which will be in the fine arts gym on April 24-28 from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

“We would love to see a lot of new faces at our tryouts,” Debellis said “Students don’t need any experience to try out!”