Three years ago, Michael Reddell, director of Melissa High School’s Mighty Cardinal Marching Band, established a color guard to enhance the visual effect for their performances.

Little did Reddell know what he started for one member of the guard.

Jenny Brittle was looking for an activity which would use the skills she had developed as a training level 10 gymnast. Gymnastics had consumed all of her time and passion until a career-ending injury forced her retirement from the sport.

For Brittle, the two worlds collided in the Melissa High School Band Hall and set her on the road to becoming MHS’ first band member to march competitively at the World Class Drum Corp International (DCI) Drum and Bugle Corp level.

Over the summer months, Brittle performed as a color guard member with the 2013 Crossmen, Texas’ only World Class Drum and Bugle Corp.

In addition, Brittle participated not only in band but in varsity cheer. Using the skills acquired through gymnastics training, guard training as a member of the Melissa Mighty Cardinal Marching Band and stunting as a member of the MHS varsity cheerleading squad, she tumbled, spun flags, danced, and basket-tossed her way through the 2013 Crossmen show "Protest."

Brittle, who graduated MHS and is attending the University of Kentucky, plans to march Crossmen again next summer.

(editor’s note: see www.dci.org and www.Crossmen.org for more information)