Winter Guard triumphs in first competition of the season

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Winter Guard triumphs in first competition of the season

Emily Terada

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On Saturday, February 7, Winter Guard won first place out of four winter guard groups at the Amador Valley High School competition. This was Winter Guard’s first competition of the season. Last season, the team participated in six competitions and finished third place out of 11 schools in its division.

“This competition definitely went well,” Winter Guard member junior Isabel Guerrero-Lubarsky said. “[Our performance] was good for our first competition, but it is definitely something that won’t be good for our last competition. There were flaws like catches, drops, but it was good enough to win first place at the competition so I think that it went pretty well.”

 The best part is when you [are doing]  rifle and you hear [the team]  catch together. That’s when you know everyone is locked in the counting and you know they are in time. -Winter Guard member junior Isabel Guerrero-Lubarsky ”

Much of Winter Guard’s program this year focuses on visual and acrobatic finesse; judges award points for all technical components regarding the Winter Guard’s precision of movements.

“The team did really well during our rifle feature and the flag feature,” Isabel said. “I think everyone worked as a cohesive unit and made sure we were together. The best part is when you [are doing] rifle and you hear [the team] catch together. That’s when you know everyone is locked in the counting and you know they are in time.”

This season, the Guard has twelve members, many of whom participated in last year’s fall marching band season. Currently, they have been focusing on improving their “weapons” line, which includes acrobatic work with fake rifles and sabers, in order to enhance the visual aspect of their work.

“We’re focusing a lot on rifle [work]  because not everyone knows rifle,” co-captain senior Kathia Angel said. “That’s a step-up; we have a weapons line and usually we keep it separated from the rest of the guard, but now everyone is doing rifle work. It’s a lot of work to focus on that, [and the]  basics are really hard. They are supposed to be the foundation, but it’s hard to get there…to get your hands and the movement [and]  not hurt yourself and you can’t look at your rifle [while performing].”

In addition to gaining more skills with the weapons line, the group is also focusing on solidifying the overall structure of the show.

 Once we are in sync, everything looks beautiful; it’s the best feeling in the world when we do it right.-Winter Guard co-captain senior Kathia Angel ”

“I definitely think the team can improve on their facial features and expressing themselves more,” senior co-captain Will Howard said. “More energy. More expression. One of the things I learned from the Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets is that you always have to express with your body, even when you can’t express through your mouth. It’s more about expressing yourself like choreography and putting yourself into it.”

As the season continues, the group’s main emphasis is working on improving overall skills and building off of their first performance. The Winter Guard’s next competition will be at Oak Grove High School on March 14.

“Even if we did well [this first competition], we want to do better,” Kathia said. “There’s always something that we can do better. We have all of the major things to work on now, we need to clean it and work on the finer details. Once we are in sync, everything looks beautiful; it’s the best feeling in the world when we do it right.”