This year has seen an unprecedented number of new and returning teams. In fact, we had more teams add and return to the FFCC than we had in competition at our first five years of FFCC Championships. More than thirty teams in total. In general, this has been a very good thing. We are spreading more opportunities to more teams in more counties than any other color guard and percussion circuit in the country. It does, however, come with a price. [Read more…]
Sportsmanship is defined as ethical, appropriate, polite, and fair behavior while participating in a game or athletic event. The ability to be gracious in victory and defeat is the mark of a true competitor.
Kevin Paulus was a founding Board member of the FFCC and the trademark of all his teams at Lemon Bay High School was their competitive drive. They were always a crowd favorite and in the heat of battle for top honors. What made Kevin’s teams stand out on and off the floor was their respect for their competitors. Whether his teams were first or last, they were always the first to congratulate the other teams and quick to offer help when needed. They also felt that part of being a good sportsman was being prepared and ready to compete. In Kevin’s honor, we created the Kevin Paulus Sportsmanship Award to recognize deserving teams.
Certainly there are many teams that have some of these great qualities but the Kevin Paulus Award should be reserved for those special teams that have them all. The FFCC depends on Team Directors to make nominations each year based on their personal experiences with their peers. This year we are making the nomination form available all year in an effort to make it easy for Directors to nominate teams during the season. When you experience those “outstanding moments of sportsmanship”, Directors may find the criteria for nomination and information on the award HERE to recognize and nominate those deserving teams.
The Florida Federation of Colorguards Circuit is proud to announce the election of Stephen Porter and Carrie Short to the FFCC Hall of Fame. They join 24 distinguished fellow honorees and will be inducted in a ceremony at the 2017 FFCC Championships on April 2.
The Hall of Fame is the highest honor presented to individuals who have influenced FFCC history through their achievements in performance, in struction, adjudication or administration. Each year, outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to the activity are nominated by the membership at large and inducted.
Stephen Porter –
Stephen is truly a product of the FFCC. He began his winterguard career as a band student at Largo High School, under the instruction of Michael James, Tom Slaughter & Willie Agustin. As a music education student at UCF, he marched with Beyond Winterguard under the direction of Jon & Cathy Kersten, the Knights under Michael James, and a later stint with NEI in 2004 under Jill Moser and Robbie DuFresne. While his performance career was shorter than he’d hoped, he has made up for that as an instructor. He began teaching Colonial High School and working with the Knights winterguard in the early 2000s, and Lyman High School in 2002. In addition to his Music Education degree, he returned to school and received an associate’s degree in dance, and became the full time dance teacher at Lyman in 2002, building a program that started from virtually nothing to what today stands at over 200 dance technique students, a fifty-member dance team, a fifty-member colorguard, and three winterguards.
Stephen’s accolades as a designer and director are well-known. His first FFCC team to attend the WGI World Championships, Colonial High School, came home with the Scholastic A Gold Medal in 2008. In 2009, Lyman High School earned the bronze in Scholastic A. In 2011, his independent team, Orlando Visual, which began the season in Independent A class but was promoted over dinner at their first regional, took the silver medal in Independent Open. In 2014, Lyman earned the Gold Medal in Scholastic A. In addition, he’s been the designer or director for over 10 WGI finalist teams, and countless FFCC medalists. He has worked with a plethora of FFCC teams besides his own, including Apopka HS, Colonial HS, Lake Howell HS, Storm Winterguard, Gainesville Independent, Knights Winterguard, Dr. Phillips HS, Winter Park HS, Timber Creek HS, East Ridge HS, Fleming Island HS, Sebastian River HS, and more.
Carrie Short –
This year marked the second annual FFCC Solo Competition. Over 100 young high school performers from around the circuit competed against one another for the chance to be one of the solo champions on their respective piece of equipment. I recently got the chance to sit down with one of the Flag Champions, Jordan (Jojo) Anderson, a senior from Weeki Wachee High School, to see what his thoughts were on the competition and on color guard in general.
I asked Jojo how it felt performing his solo, both at the competition and on Saturday after he won. He said he was really nervous performing both times. He performed it at Weeki’s friends and family night send off show before championships and states it was a very emotional performance for him. Jojo explains that having all his friends and family watching him added to the pressure. At the competition, Jojo missed his check in time and had to perform later, which only amplified his nerves. He said he, “really focused on just performing it and maxing it out,” and tried not to dwell on the competitive aspect. When he got to perform his solo in front of everyone at the Ocean Center, he said he was nervous about the number of people, but again just tried to have fun and perform.
When asked how he felt when he won, Jojo said he didn’t expect it. He saw some of the other performers and thought they were great. He was genuinely shocked when he won. He became very emotional and teared up a bit when they announced his score, a 90.5, as well! He said it was a great way to end his senior year and last season at Weeki Wachee, on top of all the other achievements and accolades he received this year as well.
What struggles did Jojo face when writing his solo? He said his biggest problem was trying not to make the work super spinny and fast. He wanted to have work in different speeds in his routine and wanted to try to use more body as well, so that it wasn’t entirely just spinning. He said he found inspiration for some of his choreography from watching groups such as USF and Tarpon Springs. He tried to adapt some of their work, but made it his own and gave it his own personality and emotion.
Going forward and looking to his future outside of high school, Jojo dreams of marching Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps one day. He hopes to be able march USF Winterguard next year, as well, having heard about the great family atmosphere of the program. Eventually, he would like to become a colorguard instructor himself, having been inspired by instructors such as Michael Shapiro and Jeannine Ford. No matter what Jojo decides to do in the future or where he plans to march, expect great things from this talented young performer.
You can find the link to a video of Jojo’s Performance here.
Missing the winter arts? Click for an amazing video recap of Championships! Thank you Destiny Guerra Photography.