Small Winter Guard Team, Big Impact


Contributed by Elisa Avila

The winter guard team performing their piece, “Sonder,” at their competition at Mission Oak High.

Victoria Quintana, Kaleidoscope Editor

The SHS Winter Guard team won first place at its most recent competition at Mission Oak High School on February 12th. Despite their competitors not showing up, the team still greatly increased their score in comparison to their previous competition at Lemoore High School.

Their show, “Sonder,” performed to the instrumental song, “Denmark,” is about not knowing what another individual is going through. This message is seen through the structure of their choreography, as they begin and end at the same place, while during the show, they all have different paths they follow which represent their different lives. 

The team has shown great adaptability due to the fact that they scratched the original show they were working on, and began an entirely new one just one week before their first competition. 

“The song, choreography, and more was all changed, but we worked really hard to perform the best we could and I think we were all proud of what we did,” explained senior Elisa Avila. 

The team practices three days a week for a total of about 15 hours where they review drill, learn choreography, clean choreography, do a full run through of their show, then debrief on what they need to improve on for next time. 

“I think that one thing we could improve on is consistency,” stated junior Angelica Villegas. “We have been working extremely hard to get everything put back in order, and I know that we will reach our goals by the end of the season.”

The winter guard team also has profound strength considering that their team only consists of eight members. Other groups normally have around 12 or more members, therefore, the SHS Winter Guard team has had to learn how to adapt their performances to give the same impact during competitions as a team with more people would.

“Learning how to give the same effect of fulfillment on the floor with so little of us, I would say, has been one of our greatest strengths,” stated Avila.

In order to achieve this effect, their coaches prioritize technique during their practices and focus on better execution for each team member.

They are a small group of individuals, but are some of the mightiest people I know when it comes to overcoming odds,” stated Coach Ivana Matias, a former color guard member and now one of the team’s three coaches. “This is a multiple–valley championship team, their immeasurable strength is measured in their undeniable success.”

The team has had the opportunity to not only grow their technique and skills, but also their connection as a group. They have students from all grades on their team which allows them to get to know new members and build strong friendships as the year goes on.

“Something that I love about the color guard team is how close we are,” expressed sophomore Macie Panagos. “Even if you don’t know someone at the beginning, you always end up like a family at the end.”

Though the end of their season approaches, the winter guard team still has goals they wish to accomplish.

“A goal that I have for all of us to achieve before the season is over is winning the SVWAA championships,” stated Panagos.

The team is continually working hard in hopes that their discipline and commitment pays off for championships.