Sophomore Cameron Hoak likes to think of himself as being “an amazing, funny, talented, and unique person.” Earlier this year he decided to join the Southmoreland colorguard. He said he “loves colorguard and everything about it” and is always “excited” to practice and perform.
Hoak said his friends got him to try colorguard. He really wasn’t sure about doing it since he played soccer, but after some thought he decided to give it a shot. For it being his first year, Hoak is very good at colorguard, and he received the “Outstanding Rookie award” from the staff.
“It was very surprising,” he said.
Mr. Shawn Harris, band director, and Ms. Bethany Hutira, colorguard instructor, and other staff decided who should get this award.
“We look at the rookies who have a great attitude, who have worked hard, and pick-up on what we are teaching,” said Mr. Harris, “There were quite a few who could have received this, but we felt confident in our decision of Cameron. He showed us quite a bit through the summer months.”
Hoak has a lot of friends on colorguard that are very happy to have Hoak on the team.
“At first it was a little different because the girls haven’t experienced a guy on colorguard,” Hoak said. “But now we’re all friends. We work together as a team.”
Colorguard captain Alyssa Gaborko is very supportive of Hoak.
“With having a male in the colorguard, it brings us to another level,” said Gaborko, “We haven’t had a guy in the guard for a few years now, and I think it’s amazing that someone like him wasn’t afraid to join colorguard because of gender. I’m glad to have been his captain for his first year.”
Fellow guard member Caitlyn Slezak feels that Hoak shows other people that they can do whatever they want, no matter what.
“Cameron is a very talented guard member, and a lot of people think it’s strange or bad for a guy to be in color guard,” Slezak said. “But he shows that guys can be in guard too.”
Hoak also feels that girls only assumptions should not be believed.
“I don’t like that people assume that, not only guard, but in other sports,” Hoak said.
Cristine Shields thinks he adds motivation to the team because he is always happy and energetic. Sarah DuBrul says that he adds his hilarious sense of humor.
Hoak also is talented at colorguard, and fellow member Maitlyn Fronczek complimented his ability.
“He has grown so much since the summer, and it’s still only the beginning of the season,” Fronczek added.
Ms. Hutira said she supports every member of the team in everything they do. She thinks Hoak is very skilled when it comes to color guard.
“Based on how Cameron performs, I’m sure many people would be shocked to learn that this is his first year in guard,” Hutira said. “I’ve seen him and several other guard members practicing in Scottdale outside of rehearsal time.”
Beyond that, Ms. Hutira said she and Cameron have even talked about various guard-related videos he has watched or what I’ve recommended to him. “This sport of the arts has become a great part of his life in such a short amount of time, which only proves how dedicated he is to refine his own performance skills for the betterment of his teammates,” Ms. Hutira said.
She also addressed how Hoak is treated by the band and other football teams.
“No one treats Cameron any differently within the band or guard,” Hutira told. “As for whatever outside opinions, from opposing football teams and crowds during games, I’m sure people do a double-take. But then again, those individuals aren’t aware of the marching band world. We’re not just this group who only perform at football games; we’re a group that’s a competitive sport of the arts. For those who understand the activity, a guy in colorguard isn’t bizarre.”
Cameron Hoak is supported by his instructor, fellow colorguard members, and many more students at Southmoreland. Hoak plans on continuing to participate in colorguard throughout colorguard, and he even would like to continue if they have guard in college.