Winterguard returns

Reappears after two year pandemic absence

Winterguard+members+rehearse+on+BVHs+tennis+courts.+Several+students+dance+while+others+flip+flags+in+order+to+create+a+cohesive+performance.

Maddie Almodovar

Winterguard members rehearse on BVH’s tennis courts. Several students dance while others flip flags in order to create a cohesive performance.

Elie Cajes, Features Copy Editor

A rush of adrenaline hits as she walks onto the gym floor. Instantly, she feels the audience’s excited energy and shifts to a vigilant mindset. As she sets up the flags, rifles and chairs on the floor, she turns to her teammates and wishes them ‘good skill’—a saying said before each and every performance. A sort of tranquility hits moments before the music starts to play. Finally, the show begins, and all of Winterguard captain and senior Michelle Armenta’s worries dissipate. 

The start of the second semester at Bonita Vista High (BVH) marked the beginning of Winterguard’s 2022 season. Generally termed ‘Colorguard,’ the performing arts team entails dancing, equipment, spinning and many on-stage performances. This year, the program is experiencing its first in-person season since the COVID-19 lockdown. 

“Although things are much different now than how they were in 2020, I still get that same thrill when I perform, especially because it’s been so long since I’ve spun indoors and gotten into that ‘Winterguard’ mindset,” Armenta said.

Armenta explains that the pandemic has drastically changed Colorguard over the past two years. Like many other extracurricular activities, winterguard tests weekly and members are required to wear masks indoors when working closely with one another. As performances take place indoors, masks are also required while performing. According to Armenta, these new requirements “will be a new experience for all of our members, both old and new.”

[Seeing] how a person can go from no experience at the very beginning [of the year] to being able to do a wonderful show at the end of the season is always a cool thing to look back at”

— Second year member and senior Zydrix Buse

“When COVID-19 cases started increasing in the beginning of 2020, our winterguard season was canceled just two months in,” Armenta said. “Now that we’re starting back up again, I really am looking forward to ending my high school colorguard experience with an amazing show and team.”

In addition to new safety protocols, the program welcomes three new coaches and a different set of members on the team this year. Out of their current sixteen members, only 6 have experienced a competitive winterguard season, changing the way Winterguard captains and directors approach choreography and teaching. 

“I’m not as experienced as the other people are so [I have] a bit of a hard time trying to keep up  but it is still very fun [and] I still enjoy it. I just need to push through it and work a little harder,” second year member and senior Zydrix Buse said.

Though Buse is a more recent member, he holds no worries for the season and upcoming showcase. He expresses his excitement and looks forward to seeing their team’s completed show, as well as what other schools have prepared. 

“[Seeing] how a person can go from no experience at the very beginning [of the year] to being able to do a wonderful show at the end of the season is always a cool thing to look back at,” Buse said.

Unlike anything they’ve performed before, the show will present a different concept for winterguard. Winterguard’s show will follow a retro theme. The song directors have chosen is called “the waiting game.” It will take audiences through the perspective of different centuries.

Usually their shows are “based on an idea or based on a feeling,” Winterguard captain and senior Abby Withrow said. “So we haven’t done something like this, which will definitely be exciting.” 

In preparation for their upcoming showcase and competitions, the team practices twice a week and every day during their fifth period class. Winterguard’s practices come to a total of about five and a half hours per week. Withrow explains the importance of maintaining a positive attitude and looking at the season from a different perspective. She expresses her new outlook and gratitude for being able to have the season this year. 

“If the whole time, all you are focusing on is the complications and ‘oh my gosh, practice is so long. It’s nine o’clock at night, and I’m still practicing.’ That’s what it’s going to become; it’s going to be a burden and a complication,” Withrow said. “I think of it as ‘it’s nine o’clock, I still don’t have my pajamas on [but] a year ago, I wouldn’t have even taken my pajamas off yet.”