Irish Guard


Wyatt Flowers, Reporter

Starting April with a second consecutive first place in the State and ending their season with a 14th place finish in Winter Guard International competition, the Irish Guard has demonstrated what true dedication can produce.

Junior Gabriele Keithley said, “Winning the IHSCGA was honestly the most fulfilling feeling you can have. Knowing that all the hours of sweat, tears and hard work weren’t for nothing and knowing that the people I was doing the activity with were struggling and helping make everything okay until the end of rehearsal meant so much.”

One impactful part of events like the IHSCGA is the intense environment.

Senior Esther Houston said, “The environment at IHSCGA was very competitive. If anyone knows anything about the open class, you know most of the time the groups are neck and neck. But even though this year was competitive, I’m just happy that IHSCGA competitions are back to normal (following COVID).”

The Irish Guard members will remember winning State for a long time.

Freshman Erika Hayden said, “Winning was so amazing! We were all in shock because we were being beaten all year. I remember standing in the gym and hearing them call the Greenwood Irish Guard for first place; we all immediately started crying. There is no other feeling like it.”

This year’s Irish Guard made a mark in Dayton at the Winter Guard International competition, something GHS has not done in years.

Keithley said, “I’m very satisfied with the ending of this season. We became State champions for the 2nd year in a row, and we went to WGI. Plus, we made it to all three days to compete: Prelims, Semis and Finals. This guard hasn’t been to the WGI finals since 1990.”

The Irish guard prepared in every way possible.

Director Samantha Faircloth said, “Winning the IHSCGA competition was very unexpected, but it was a really great experience. It was a huge confidence booster for the group. It was nice to add another thing to the legacy. This group of color guard kids now won 50 percent of the State championships; out of the four they have two of them.”

After a successful season, athletes in the program are going to walk into the next season with confidence. All eyes will be on them next year.

Hayden said, “I am so sad that this season is over but super excited for next season. I am so proud of this team’s accomplishments this season.”

After the conclusion of the Irish Guard’s successful season, Mrs. Faircloth announced she will be stepping back from directing for the near future. She will be returning to college this fall to finish a BS in Counseling and Psychology as well as take on a full time day job.