Winter Guard: Newsome Winterguard rises to the top

Isabella Thatcher, Reporter

   After an undefeated season last year, Newsome’s Varsity Winterguard has been upgraded from class “A” to “open.” The team has been managing this change with powerful strides, putting in more work than ever.

   In the open class, teams are scored diligently after their performance with a scoring system created by the Winterguard International (WGI). The WGI is a non-profit program designed to structure winterguard, percussion and winds.

   The teams are scored on their understanding of equipment, dynamic range, challenges and training. The judges also look for transitions in the routine, choreography and characteristics. These aspects of the routine add flare and captivate the audience. 

   These aspects of the routine are then categorized into four groups; equipment, movement, design analysis and general effect. The judges want to see a routine that is unique and exciting to watch. They want to be drawn in and see something that blows the rest of the competition out of the water. After the group performs, the judges add up the points earned in each individual category and create one grand score.

   Newsome Varsity Winterguard has been practicing everything from drop spins, tosses and _, working to achieve the highest score possible in each of these four categories.

   Newsome Winterguard is known in the county as one of the best for its prestigious program. After their season last year was messed up due to COVID-19, the team wanted to ensure that this season leaves a bigger impact than ever before.

   “In 2020, our season was cut short due to Covid and all our competitions including the championship events were canceled. This year, the only thing COVID has really affected is the amount of spectators we are allowed to have at our competitions and how our team receives awards,” said senior Sarah Jansen. 

   After two years of COVID protocols and struggles, the team was finally able to persevere this season and not only have a more normal season, but they have also earned their spot in the 2021-2022 open class competition level. The team advanced despite all the hardships these past few years presented.

   “I feel great about both this season and our team. The team is responding very well, we have performers that are more skilled and fierce than any season in the past,” said Captain Carli Mankowski. 

   The team members all have a fiery determination to rise to the top. The competition is fierce, but they refuse to let it get the best of them. If anything, this challenging class pushes the team to rise to new levels and dominate their competitors.

   “We get to compete at our full potential,” said Mankowski

   At Newsome, this season’s routine is called “Remembering the Magic,” in honor of the 50 years since the opening of Walt Disney World. The members are honored to be doing a Disney inspired performance, so in response they are pushing themselves to represent the magic in the best way imaginable.

   “Expect to feel a sense of joy and nostalgia when watching our performance this year, especially since a lot of people can relate to the theme. It’s about remembering what it was like to go to Disney for the first time and discovering the magic of the overall experience, ” said Jansen.

   This season, Newsome Varsity Winterguard performed at various competitions including the Varsity Winterguard International (WGI) regional competition in Tampa on March 5. The team  will later perform at the Varsity WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio from April 5 to 10. The Dayton competition will be a day the team will remember.

   “I’m most excited for our competition in Ohio. It’ll definitely be a bonding experience spending 14 hours riding on a bus with the team. But I’m really excited to make new memories with the team and have a great final run at our last competition of the season,” said Jansen.

   This season is predicted to be one of the best yet. The team has put in a ton of work to make sure they leave a strong impact on their audience and it will be exciting to see.