The Mustang Messenger

Vick – Winterguard Competition

Olivia Vick, Messenger Reporter

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Saturday, February 3rd, the McCracken County High School Winterguard attended their first competition of the school year. This team works very hard for about five months per year, and most students haven’t even heard of them. Winterguard is color guard without the band – individuals spinning flags, wooden rifles, sometimes sabres (a sword-like object), as well as dancing. McCracken’s team consists of thirteen girls, ranging from vets (girls with at least two years of experience with guard) to newbies (those who are just learning to spin), freshmen to seniors, dancers to athletes to band members. All of whom come together to perform and compete.

The girls had to be at the school, hair curled, at 5 am. Upon arrival, they discovered two girls wouldn’t be able to make the competition due to strep and flu. This means two “holes” in the drill (where the girls stand and move), which cannot be filled. It was a two and a half hour drive to Independence High School in Thompson’s Station, TN. During their bus ride, the girls spent their time doing their makeup and sleeping. After their arrival & check-in, the guard girls got to watch a variety of other teams performances before preparing for their own. They then went to get their floor- the thick, white, plastic sheet with a purple heart in the center (shown in picture), with only ten girls carrying this 100+ pound mass from the bus inside the school where floors are held. From there, the girls traveled to warm-ups. This is divided into two sections – a dance warm-up and an equipment warm-up. A certain amount of time is allotted in a specified area within the school for the team to practice the dance portion of the routine, and then the group is moved to a different area (usually a larger space, with more room) where they may run through the full show before the performance. These areas are strictly monitored, and violations of time or using equipment during a dance warm-up leads to points being taken off of the performance score. After their two warm-ups, the girls unfolded the floor (without assistance from other schools, which is customary), and set up to perform. The girls had a wonderful performance, which you can find pictures and videos of on the McCracken County Band’s social media pages. After their performance, girls got to watch more teams perform, accompanied by a plethora of junk food. Gabbie McLeod spoke about watching some of the higher level guards performing, and learning that some of the teams competing in the SRA class (also known as class A) had higher budgets and a $1,000 fee for each guard girl on the team (the fee for McCracken’s guard being about $180 each). McLeod, She spoke of the experience as a whole, musing, “The whole day was exhausting but worth it… But exhausting.”

For the awards ceremony at the conclusion of the competition, four vets were able to represent the McCracken team in receiving 4th place in the SRA class; Savannah Johnson, Gabbie McLeod, Kayli Poll, and Faith Shields.

If you’re interested in getting to watch the magic happen, other competitions will be taking place on March 3rd at Summit High School, March 10th at Siegel High School, March 17th at Beech High School, and Championships on April 7th at Western Kentucky University. The Mustang Messenger wishes flag taps (good luck) to the Winterguard!

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