Winter guard begins at WA

Anushka Patil, Staff Writer

WA’s fall color guard, whose baton performances are showcased at the school football games, will be transitioning into a competitive winter guard season this winter for the first time in its history. The batons, the colors, the excitement, and the performances that winter guard represents will be displayed at competitions.

Winter guard is different from the fall color guard offered at Westford Academy due to its use of an indoor space and pre-recorded music instead of a live band or orchestra. Winter guard will also be judged, unlike color guard, which just performs at Westford Academy’s home football games. 

Winter guard and color guard also have similarities. They both involve routines that go along with music. The members wear costumes and use props that go with the theme of the routine for both sports.

Practice for the sport started Monday, November 26. The two co-captains, Amanda Brown and Sara Lane, both current seniors at Westford Academy, were more than happy to start winter guard. They, along with former captains, had worked for years to make winter guard a sport at Westford Academy.

“I am so hyped! We have been waiting so long,” Lane said.

The two co-captains were involved in getting a space for the winter guard team to practice in. With help from their coach, Becca Shepherd, Brown and Lane were able to get access to the Nabnasset gym on Monday and Friday, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. 

“We have been trying to make this happen for quite a few years now, but it has been difficult since WA has booked out the gym every day after school. Basketball has booked out most of the gyms available in Westford, so we have had to fight with administration to get winter guard a place to practice so that we could have a team,” Brown said.

This year, the theme that the Westford Academy team has picked for the competitions will be based on The Greatest Showman. The team will go to competitions where they will be judged on their skills and costumes.

“This year we are doing The Greatest Showman, so we are going to have cute, [circus] costumes. We will wear breathable clothing so that we can stretch during our performances,” Lane said.

The competitions for winter guard work in such a way that they will use the same routine for the most part. The team will attend a competition where their routine will be judged. After getting critiqued, the team will return back to practice where they will work on improving the routine. They will then perform the refined routine.

“We will first be judged on our routine, and then we will head back to the drawing room where we make tweaks on it, to make it better,” Brown said.

The captains, along with their coach, are looking for more participants who are willing to give 100% at practice as well as at competitions. The team is looking for more participants to join the team, which is currently around twenty students. They are open to allowing students to join the team as long as they are passionate about the sport. 

Lane and Brown both feel that practice is where the most improvement will happen. They feel that their teammates would benefit most if they made it to all practices.

“Show up and give it your all. You must keep a positive attitude because it can be hard for the first few weeks. You may be given a pole or something, so you must be aware that it will be hard, but after a few weeks, it just comes naturally,” Lane said.

Brown feels that since this is the first year of winter guard, that everyone, no matter the age, will be learning with each other.

“I think that we all will have something to learn and that the way we approach certain things will be less structured than color guard, since it is new to a great majority of us,” Brown said.

Brown, Lane, and Shepherd have high hopes for this season.

“I hope to push them to be their best and, most importantly, have fun. It’s going to be the greatest show, and I’m looking forward to it,” Shepherd said.