Out with the old, and in with the new; with the closing of a competitive color guard season, a new type of competition emerges. That new type of competition is winter guard. The two similar sports are distinctly different in their ways of presenting the skills of the team. The dropping of temperatures indicates the transition from the color guard to winter guard season for many young female athletes.
“Our shows all came together really well. They all have a story plot and a well thought-out design that people could observe from the stands,” sophomore Madeline Metz said on color guard.
Many of those observers in the stands have said they noticed a non-comprehensible noise from the end zone where the band and colorguard warms up. “It’s a tradition before every game. We breathe in together, then let out a deep breath, then we breathe in again and let out a loud sound that usually ends up sounding like a bloody-murder scream,” Metz said. So for those of you who have heard the dynamic duo of color guard and marching band screaming before a game, now you know why.
Wesleyan’s 2016-17 winter guard team consists of ten middle school through high school girls: Rylei Tamel (12), Meg Healy (10), Ashley Walton (10), Muhan Zhao (6), Siobhan Davenport (8), Grace Emmelhainz (8), Anastasia Johnston (9), Felicia Wang (8), Olivia Curran (10) and Karrington Duggins (9).
The end of color guard might be sad for some members, but its winter successor seems to be closely related in the eyes of the winterguard team members. “Both sports use the same equipment and technique, and a lot of the people involved in colorguard are also involved in winter guard.” So what’s the difference, some might ask? “The main difference is that color guard is more physically challenging, and while winter guard is still difficult in that aspect, it’s more mentally challenging,” said sophomore Meg Healy.
While the color guard members perform, the band is also involved on the football field while the people in the stands are loud and cheering. In winter guard, people are silently critiquing from close-up in a small gym. “It’s difficult not to let that get in your head when you’re tossing the equipment,” Healy said.
Rylei Tamel, the only upperclassman on the team, looks forward to “making connections with the younger girls” throughout the season. “I absolutely adore all of them,” said Tamel.
Coaches Deidra Dobbelmann and Jessica Tinney are working to help the girls perform to the best of their abilities, which means spinning and throwing their equipment to the highest heights and dancing their hearts out. Guard’s last competition and chance to show their skills is on April 1, which marks the end of the season.