The significance of Andrea Ziemba's accomplishment seemed not to dawn on her until Thursday.
That's when the Evans High School senior was recognized as a member of the color guard for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
"It's starting to hit home with me now," said the 17-year-old, who learned weeks ago that she was selected to perform with the 125-member marching band in the halftime show of the Jan. 8 game in San Antonio. "It's, like, official now. I'm really excited."
Color guards are members of high school marching bands that execute choreographed dance routines using flags. Though Andrea plays saxophone in Evans High's concert band, she is a four-year member and captain of the school's color guard during marching band performances.
Earlier this year, she sent a tape of her performances to a selection team of the All-American Bowl, an annual football game featuring 90 of the top high school seniors in the country, and was chosen.
Though Andrea already knew of her inclusion, many of her friends and bandmates were not told until the Thursday ceremony in Evans High's music room. Army Lt. Col. Karen Roe, an ROTC instructor at Augusta State University, and members of the All-American Bowl selection team presented Andrea with a jacket and cap and officially pronounced her one of the select color guard competitors attending the bowl game.
Reid Hall, band director at Evans High, noted that just one other student from Evans has ever been selected to take part in the All-American Bowl -- and that was two decades ago.
"She's been an outstanding captain for this team," Hall said of Andrea. "She's shown her true colors and promise to be a wonderful leader."
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl will be televised on NBC at noon on Jan. 8.
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