Winterguard wins class in first competition


Courtesy of Michele Sheffield

Winterguard members celebrate their win following a competition.

The winterguard won first in their class last Saturday, March 26, at a Caprock Colorguard Circuit competition in Denver City.

Winterguard is an indoor version of colorguard, a division of marching band dedicated to using flags for visual effect. Typically performed in gymnasiums, the performance uses recorded music. In addition to winning their first competition, they moved up in their class from Novice Large School to Regional AA and will compete next week in another CCGC competition in Greenwood.

“Ever since before I was here, the captains when I was a freshman and sophomore always talked about how they wanted to do [winterguard,]” captain Jessie Medina said. “I know it’s always been a dream of the guard here, so I wanted to be the first to lead it on.”

The school’s winterguard was established this December and attracted 18 potential members from which 13 members were selected. Michele Sheffield, Ben Vongsurith and Mike Sheffield instruct the winterguard members.

“The biggest challenge was that none of us had ever been there,” Michele Sheffield said. “You go to a band contest and the directors have been there a million times before, but this was completely foreign.”

All members were trained with a flag before competing, and some students, including freshman Chandler Price, were selected to use a rifle as well.

“I started in the summer after eighth grade, and I got dared to do it,” Price said. “At first, I didn’t want to audition because I didn’t think I was good at it, but it turns out I’m really good. I just thought it was interesting.”

Some band members, such as sophomore Ericka Ortiz, were trained purely for winterguard rather than migrating from fall’s colorguard.

“We had to learn pretty quickly,” Ortiz said. “They have more time to train newbies in the summer.”

Training for fall’s colorguard will begin in mid-to-late April. Future winterguard members will be required to participate in fall colorguard.

“Generally, as a group, they work really well,” Michele Sheffield said. “I can’t complain about the way they work. We have beginning colorguard members who went and won their category.”

Medina said she thinks the group will do better in future contests.

“We’ll get more experienced now that we actually know what we’re doing,” Medina said. “We won’t be so stressed about everything around. We’ll just focus on the performance and get better.”