“Five, six, seven, eight, and out!” Her sabre flew out of her hand, spun six times in the air, all while she twirled under it, catching the sword at a sharp 45° angle.
Sophomore Kaylee Bruns became the new color guard captain after previous senior captains Geena Demonteverde and co-captain Rebecca Ruiz graduated last year. The norm was to have the most experienced and influential individuals, usually seniors, take on the esteemed position of captain.
Bruns has participated in color guard for about four years now, making her skill almost equivalent to that of a senior who has competed for the same time. Over the past years, her favorite piece of equipment is the prestigious sabre, which is harder to use than flags and rifles.
“[I chose Kaylee to be be captain because of her] leadership qualities, and being able to lead a group. She has good academic standing, she also has a mature presence,” color guard coach Tim Seaman said.
By committing 15 hours a week to rehearsals, Bruns aims to better herself and her team. She finds inspiration in her sister and cousin, both of which introduced her to spinning color guard equipment at a young age. Due of their success, Bruns looks up to them to achieve her goals just like them.
“Kaylee adds a sense of urgency to the team through her incessant motivation to do better and improve on our skills,” freshman Michelle Thatch said.
In order to improve and sharpen her skills, Bruns participates in color guard clinics, such as Vox Artium and other independent guard teams.
“She goes the extra mile, she’s always improving her own personal abilities. She’s very reliable, dependable, she knows what needs to be done to have a successful rehearsal,” Seaman said.
Due to her work ethic and unwavering determination, Bruns is very productive in using her time, by making sure everyone is working diligently, according to co-captain Samantha Oliva.
“Above all, she has a lot of passion, every time I see her I know that she really likes guard, I see in her everyday the practice she put in,” new assistant coach Margarito Rivera Ⅲ said.
Not knowing her for as long as a time, Rivera can see through observation why Bruns is captain, as opposed to the other applicants.
“She’s really good at bringing everyone together. Everyone respects her, she’s a sophomore captain for a reason,” Rivera said.