Male Student Participates In Female-Dominated Sport

October 1, 2018

Color guard is normally viewed as a female-dominated sport. Commonly people see women in dramatic makeup and extravagant costumes that match the theme of their shows. However, a male will always stick out in a crowd of girls. This is the case for Sparkman’s junior varsity guard team.

Freshman Jouston Shellenbarger decided to pursue color guard becoming the only male to be a part of the guard in the past three years.

“When I tried out for the color guard it was fun and scary,” Shellenbarger said. “It was over the course of three days, and each day we would learn something new to prepare for the actual audition on the last day.”

His family was supportive of this decision to try-out and encouraged him to do his best. Over the course of the three days, he learned the basic of flag, and also body movement and dance.

“Honestly, the whole process was scary, fun and nerve wrecking. I felt like I wasn’t going to make the team, but then it turned out I did,” Shellenbarger said.

When Shellenbarger found out he made the team he was ecstatic. He was glad that all the hard work he put into tryouts did not go to waste. His family was also happy for him, knowing he had spent hours working toward this.

“I was afraid to tell people I had made the team because I had friends who didn’t make the team, so I didn’t want to rub it in their faces,” Shellenbarger said. “Thankfully though, no one treats me any different because I’m on guard.”

Being the only male, Shellenbarger feels he can be left out at times, which he says is just because he is simply not a girl. He says sometimes its not getting a joke, or just not being able to go with people somewhere because he is a guy. He feels like his biggest support though is his family and close friends, so those things don’t get to him as much.

“You know nothing is that hard, it’s just getting our routine done, practicing every day so we get better, and just having overall respect,” Shellenbarger said. “I just hope I’ll be on the middle group when we get to winter guard season and that next year I’ll make competition color guard.”

Even with being the only boy in a group of 22 girls, he doesn’t feel as if he has to work harder to be as good. He thinks that the best parts of color guard are learning new things, being able to perform at football games, and just being on the team because it is a different and great experience.

“Jouston is a fun person to have around in guard” senior Shayla Wilson. Wilson who has been participating in guard since her freshman year enjoys seeing a guy doing something normally only a girl would do. She thinks he is a great performer, and always gives him and the rest of the guard words of encouragement so they perform at their best.

“If I have learned anything, it’s mostly teamwork. I think teamwork is very important and can be applicable to any situation,” Shellenbarger said. “Besides it is what will help us be a good team, and hopefully it will help me reach my goals of going farther in guard.”


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