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We Are Family

Jayna Blackmon, Staff

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Many high school students on Saturday’s find themselves at the mall or the movies or maybe hanging out with friends, but the Westmoore’s winter guard team’s time is spent practicing or at a contest. Although this sounds like a sacrifice, the team believes it is worth the commitment.

“When I perform I feel like all the hard work has finally paid off,” senior Brendon B. said.

How do you get on the team?

On the varsity team, about 19-21 members are selected, but on JV only about 16 members are chosen. Members are chosen by tryouts that take place at the beginning of November, in order to try out for varsity the student must have at least one season of either color guard or winter guard and must attend the clinics to learn the audition routine. The clinics are typically at the beginning of the week for two days then at the end of the week auditions take place. Each performer is assigned to a group of about four to five people, which is the people who will be auditioning at the same time as them. In the audition coaches Mallory Sutherland, Cameron Rice, and Jessica Cowan sit in front of the performers and “judge” their performance. Once everyone has auditioned, the coaches meet together and discuss who they believe would help the team succeed, which can lead to callbacks and the final decision.

Why join guard?

Each year a few new students decide to try guard or tryout for varsity for the first time. This year, as a freshman, Katelyn W. tried out for varsity for the first time.

“When I found out I made varsity, I was filled with joy, all the anxiety that had added up over the week had finally gone away.”

Not only is guard enjoyable because of the experience and performing, but also because of the relationships developed between the members. Some students, like Jackie T.,  joined to create those friendships.

“I joined guard my senior year so I could meet new people and experience something new.” senior Jackie T. said.

Contest Season

The first contest for the team isn’t until January 26th at Putnam City West which seems far off but it is quickly approaching. Until then there will be many practices on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and some Saturdays. For Varsity, about 9 hours go into practice a week, which is about three hours a practice. JV practice for about two and a half to three hours each practice which is about six to eight hours a week. The teams typically practice in the competition gym, practice gym, or the cafeteria when there are no gyms available. On top of these many hours of practice, during a contest week, about 20 hours is put in. As the amount of time and commitment increases so does the hard work needed to be the most successful team in the class.

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