Winterguard: Sport of the Arts


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The Columbus Saints Winterguard practicing their spin techniques. (Photo Credit: Wikimedia)

Abbey Kester

Have you ever wanted to do something different? Have you ever looked around and not found any sports or clubs that appeal to you? Then, I ask you, have you ever considered Winterguard?

Winterguard is considered a “Sport of the Arts,” but here at AHS, it’s listed as a club. Winterguard is the sibling to color guard, whom you might’ve seen perform at one of AHS’s home football games. Winterguard season starts in either late November or early December and ends in either late March or early April. I know these dates seem kind of confusing, but it all depends on the schedules of the members and the coach, Kelsey Stratton.

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Winterguard team members practice their spin techniques. (Photo Credit: Wikimedia)

Now if you’re a clever person, you can probably figure out that we’re in full swing of the season. Now I can’t speak for you, but, personally, I know that I wouldn’t be one to try and join any sport in the middle of the season, but never fear. Here at AHS Winterguard, they love new members and highly encourage anybody to join. Now, you may not be placed in the show that they are currently working on, but you can come and learn how to spin.

“Spin what?” you may ask. Well, in both Winter and Colorguard, members spin flags, sabers, and rifles. Along with spinning, they perform dance routines of integrated ballet and modern dance.

According to some members, the spinning and dancing is actually not their favorite part of being in Winterguard. Their favorite part seems to be the people that Winterguard attracts. “[My favorite thing about winter guard is] getting to emotionally connect with people through our shows,” said Captain Lexi Stevahn-Brekke. New member Madison Deming agreed. “[E]veryone is so nice and accepting.”

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An enthusiastic team member spins her flag. (Photo Credit: Wikimedia)

Since Winterguard is an unconventional sport, you might be a bit confused as to how the members learned about it. For me personally, I was in band my freshman year, and Winter Guard was promoted during the class, so I joined. That is not the case for all of our members, though, especially those like Lexi, who joined before high school. “In 7th grade, I had planned to do cheer, but saw a promotional video for guard and was just in awe,” said Captain Stevahn-Brekke. “It just really interested me.” When asked, Coach Kelsey Stratton said, “A couple of high school friends convinced me to go to a clinic [an event where Winterguard groups invite young people to learn how to spin and be taught routines by people other than their coaches] and it just kind of stuck.” She has now been participating in Winterguard for about ten years. But the sport is not the only reason that people join Winterguard. “I joined because my friend group wasn’t great,” said freshman Madison Deming. “[Then], I met the guard when I was in marching band and they seemed like a good group.”

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