On April 1 at Highland High School the winter guard team placed second at the State Championships with a total score of 81.4 out of 90. Winter guard is a sport based on color guard and derived from military ceremonies. Unlike color guard, winter guard is usually performed indoors in a gymnasium. Performances are done to recorded music rather than a live band or orchestra. Stunts include flags, rifles and sabres while dancing.
“The toughest part about [winter guard] is the toll it has on your body. You push your body to the limits, sometimes I’ll leave [practice] with bruises and sore muscles,” junior Marisa Valdez said. “Although, I love how much of a family we are. We all care about each other and help each other out when it’s needed.”
Red Mountain Winter Guard is a part of Winter Guard of Arizona (WGAZ). Clinics, which are held before tryouts, started in November to train new members on techniques. The clinic includes warm-ups and practice basics such as using the flags and other stunt objects.
“Before tryouts we learn what we have to audition with [flags, rifles, or sabres],” Valdez said. “After we audition, the coach will talk to us about what we did best and what we should start working on, then we perform again. You learn a lot, and it really helps you see how you can improve.”
There have been several victories this season. Winter guard takes each competition one at a time and uses the judges feedback to improve before the next competition. The team has been placing in the top three out of six competitions.
“Our biggest accomplishment this year is our silver medal win at State Championships. We had a very intense show with 25 members on the floor, and we were able to make the show look clean and together,” Coach Oliver said. “We had been winning first and second for the most part this season. I am extremely proud of our second place win because our score was the highest Red Mountain had ever placed at championships.”
For more information on winter guard, email Coach Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Featured Image Courtesy of Color Guard)