Why join Winter Guard?

Staff Writer: Selene Gomez

Winter Guard is an extension of the marching band season. Winter Guard is a new show utilizing almost any music of choice performed on a tarp in a basketball gym or arena. Winter Guard performs with flags, rifles, sabers, and other props, as well as executing dance movements to visually interpret music.

The Woodstock high school Winter Guard held Auditions/Tryouts on Saturday Oct. 13 in the High School Cafeteria. Auditions were from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., and the tryouts were from 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. On the day of try-outs, the candidates were to bring a completed tryout form, an audition fee of $25, and proper attire (black capri jazz pants and black t-shirt)

Out of the forty-eight candidates that tried out only forty spots were available over all. Candidates have the option of trying out for the JV team or the Varsity team, on JV there are twenty-eight spots available and twelve on varsity. Because of the limited space on the tarp and in the gym the spots are limited and only coaches can determine whether you will be accepted or turned down.

The Woodstock High School Color Guard has been around since 2004 and has improved greatly since it began. The JV team performs in the JV SRA class while the Varsity performs in Scholastic A.

Winter guard 2016-2017

 JV Winter Guard 2016-2017


Emily Krausman, senior Varsity Winter Guard member, says, “I joined winter because I like the environment of getting t spin with my friends. I like it because I like to perform and be challenged. My expectations are for no one to be lazy and everyone putting in their most. I think Winter Guard is a great way to get closer to friends while also doing something you love.”

Color guard evolved from military activities, during the civil war the soldiers would ask that the marching band play while they march into battle, then the band requested someone to carry the “colors” our nations flag. In military Color Guard, the person holding the flag is responsible for carrying the flag at different angles.

winter guard 2017-2018

JV left Varsity right Winter Guard 2017-2018


Color Guard evolved from a woman named Peggy Twiggs, she invented peggy spins which took Color Guard to a whole new level. Now it is performed in countries like the Unites States, Africa, Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, Holland, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand.

The basic pieces of equipment consist of Flags, rifles, and, sabres. Before you learn how to use any other weapon you need to begin with flag the flag creates visuals ensembles that require members to be completely in sync with each other.  Spinning on a Rifle is more difficult to learn than flag and saber. When tossing a rifle, a guard member can toss from a single to an eight. Which means how many times it spins in the air. A saber is half the weight of a rifle and is much easier to maneuver while spinning.

Varsity 2016-17

Varsity Winter Guard 2016-2017

Towards the end of the winter guard season both JV and varsity guards perform in the biggest competition of the season, SAPA, the Southern Association for Performance Arts. SAPA offers a variety of competitive Color Guard levels ranging from cadet units to world class units. The contestants are judged by local and national judges trained to use WGI’s adjudication criteria.

The Woodstock high school Winter Guard travels to Tennessee a day before the competition and stays overnight. The next day they perform in front of a grand crowd and get to see many other guards ranging from many different classes of experience.

Kate Torkkola, junior Winter Guard member, says. “I love Winter Guard! I like that it’s only us, no band. The practices are more chill because we deal with a lot less people, and there are only two practices throughout the week. The competitions are really fun too, especially SAPA, I love when we go to Tennessee and stay overnight in hotels.”

Charlene Portillo, junior Cherokee high school Guard member, expresses her hopes for the upcoming Winter Guard season. “I have been doing Color Guard since my freshmen year, however we have not had the opportunity to have a winter guard at Cherokee until now. I am going to try out for the winter guard this year and I hope to improve more on my rifle work since I couldn’t really improve much this year. I feel like winter guard will help me focus on the work and make sure it is sharp.

Winter Guard 2014-2015

Winter Guard 2014-2015

Andrew Hyman, JV Winter Guard member, is excited to spin flag this year, “I found out about Color Guard and Winter Guard at 8th grade night. I was in chorus and I got asked if I wanted to hang out with the girls from Color Guard, so I did it. I had such a good time that I was constantly thinking about it. I went to tryout to join Guard, but I didn’t try out, I only went to the clinic. That was when I learned that I absolutely loved spinning and tossing the flag.”

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