Castle said the band was getting smaller several years ago, at one time with as few as only seven band members. Today, she said, the band has grown to nearly 30 members, including her six color guard members.
But the process of doing color guard was extremely new to everyone at Valley - even to Castle. Among the six girls on her squad are three freshmen, two sophomores and one junior.
“No one was there that had ever done it before. No one had did it, and my background was more in cheer and dance,” Castle said. “We have a little bit different look, maybe, than probably a lot of the other just plain color guards.”
Because of her background in dance and cheer, Castle said she has added an assistant with a rich background in color guard. She said the Valley Color Guard will be more than just flags - that her squad also will incorporate dancing and gold streamers.
“My idea to this whole thing is to put a new spin on it,” Castle said. “A standard color guard does mainly just flags, and our color guard, we're adding a lot more to it to get interest built up.”
Working with Valley band's new band director, Lee Auer, Castle and her color guard squad performed at the Scioto County Fair this year and marched in the River Days parade on Saturday. The color guard also will perform during all of Valley's football games this year.
“We practiced all summer without the band, and we do it on an eight-count. So as long as the band is working on double-eight or 16 counts, our movements are choreographed to theirs,” Castle said.
The color guard began to practice with the band, however, in July, and could be seen during the River Days Parade on Saturday marching alongside the high school band.