Ohayon earns outstanding honor
By Ashley Shah
Michael Ohayon, a senior at Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS), is an outstanding member of the school’s Falcon Corps and Color Guard.
Ohayon was awarded the Outstanding Soloist award at the California State Finals for marching bands on Nov. 19.
“Typically, the award is given to a soloist in the band, but this time it was given to a member of the guard, Michael,” said Kathie Foley, a family friend and parent of a former member in the SRHS color guard.
There were teams from all over California at the California State finals. Each was the best from their divisions.
“Out of all of the people from different divisions and places in California, Michael received the award,” Foley said.
Alongside the award, he received a $500 scholarship.
“Michael has got to be one of the most hardworking kids I know. The improvement that he has made since he started guard to now is so great. He really deserved that award,” Foley said.
“It is definitely a really cool honor, and I’m really proud of it. However, it is a lot in part due to my coaches and the people around me that I was able to achieve that award,” Ohayon said.
Ohayon’s color guard career began in the winter of his first year of high school. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, Ohayon’s first season was short-lived.
“I took a small break after my first season got cut short, but the summer going into my junior year, I started again,” Ohayon said.
Going into his junior year, he joined Pacific Crest, a team associated with Drum Corps International, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to marching bands.
“The program began in June, and we trained in Los Angeles for a couple weeks, and then we toured around the nation. It is a 70-day program,” Ohayon said.
In the fall of his junior year, Ohayon restarted his experience in the SRHS marching band.
“Even though I had already done Pacific Crest, it was still a big learning experience when I joined the SRHS marching band. I was learning the ropes of everything,” Ohayon said.
He continued winterguard in his junior year, which is from January to April.
This past summer, Ohayon went back to Pacific Crest for another season. In the fall, he started his last season in the SRHS marching band as co-captain.
“Getting to be co-captain this year has been a really great experience. It is definitely a lot of work behind the season, but is fully worth it,” Ohayon said.
He will continue winterguard at SRHS this winter season.
Besides winterguard at SRHS, he has joined an independent winterguard team called Emerald.
“This is my first season in it. I will continue it until April when championships happen. It has been hard to manage both teams, but I have been able to get accommodations from both teams, and it has been working out,” Ohayon said.
He spends about 30 hours per week in the thick of the season practicing. The countless hours that he has put into guard do not seem to be ending any time soon.
“This summer coming up, I will be doing Drum Corps International again, but this time with the Santa Clara Vanguard. They have won many times, and I am excited for my experience with this team,” he said.
As a graduating senior this year, Ohayon plans to attend a four-year university in which he will continue guard.
“A lot of schools do not really have guard teams, but no matter where I go, I will join an independent guard team so I can continue it,” he said.
“Guard is really an art form. There is no perfect in it, but you can always get better, and that is what I love. It has been such a fun experience, and I have met so many people through this. I can’t wait to keep doing more,” Ohayon said.