Valley Ventana

Varsity guard snatches first place

Colorguard teams perform at competition

Top row: Naomi Morrow, Jaiden Martinez, Aliyah Woitena, Keely Graber, Anamiek Brooks, Nicole Garma Middle row: Lauren Matula, Kristina Hernandez, Ariel Melendez, Olivia Gusme, Brandy Ruiz, Katelyn White Bottom row: Destiny Espinoza, Aris Salinas, Keyerra French, Leslie Juarez, Jordan Leyendecker

Julia Brooks

Top row: Naomi Morrow, Jaiden Martinez, Aliyah Woitena, Keely Graber, Anamiek Brooks, Nicole Garma Middle row: Lauren Matula, Kristina Hernandez, Ariel Melendez, Olivia Gusme, Brandy Ruiz, Katelyn White Bottom row: Destiny Espinoza, Aris Salinas, Keyerra French, Leslie Juarez, Jordan Leyendecker

Leslie Juarez, Staff Writer

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As the announcer introduces them, the guard scrambles to set the floor and their equipment set so they can get into position for the very first performance of the season. Silence fills the air as the guard stays stone still and the music is being prepared to play. Mixed emotions fill the girls heads as the show begins.

“The emotions I felt were excitement,” senior Keyerra French said. “I love our show and I really wanted everyone to see all the work we put in as a team.” 

As the first note for the music of the show titled “How Many Times Why” plays for the varsity guard, they prepare to put their show to the public.

Our show depicts a person’s reflection upon her life,” senior Jordan Leyendecker said.”The speaker, or singer, looks back upon all the things she has gone and done throughout her life. Then about halfway through her heart seems to “sink” as she realizes she has done some great things, but she has also missed out on a lot. She laments this towards the end during my solo where she thinks about ‘the books [she] never read, the words [she] never said’ and all the dreams and experiences she missed out on. We have always had very emotionally intense and unique shows, this years’ is a slower approach, though.” 

The varsity guard is seen in an azure blue dress that is meant to flow when dancing, revealing a design on some parts of the dress.

“The shade of blue shows the calm and regret of the singer while the swirling paisley shows the riling emotion hidden in her lament.”

As the crowd applauds when the show concludes, the guard reflects on how they did on the performance.

“[After the performance] I did not feel good at all, I was uneasy, the world was spinning and I was on the verge of tears because all I could have thought about were my mistakes,” freshman Ariel Melendez said. “Overall, I think it was an amazing show, the choreography went well with the song, we performed and projected in the videos I saw, and I tried to make up for my mistakes with grace.”

Although the crowd went wild for the varsity’s show, the guard knew it was not perfect.

“We had a lot of drops throughout our show,” Leyendecker said. “I myself clanked rifles with my partner Keely. If we decrease the amount of drops and work more towards displaying the intensity of emotion with our facial expressions and body movements.” 

Although French had the stomach flu, she still continued with the show.

“I think I did pretty good,”  French said. But of course I messed up. No one is perfect of course but I tried my best. As a whole I feel like we did our best. We brought out the best in each other and in those 4 minutes, we unified.”

Despite the fact that the guard’s show was not complete, sophomore Anamiek Brooks believes that the guard did an exceptional job.

I know I did all I was taught and did my best to make my coach proud,” Brooks said. “As a whole group we couldn’t have done better for our first performance. All those long hours of practice finally paid off.”

After leaving early from competing at the TECA Medina Valley Contest on Jan. 26, it wasn’t long until the guard was notified that they had received first place with a score of 60.720 in Scholastic A.

After I found out we got first place I was surprised but excited,” Brooks said. “After that hard work we definitely deserved first place.” 

Melendez was so surprised by the win that she didn’t even believe it at first.

“I wanted to believe it so bad but I didn’t want to be let down.” Melendez said.” I asked if Mr.Woodfield told them, then Jordan texts that Mr.Woodfield did in fact, tell them.”

The junior varsity team also performed at the contest with their show titled “Crazy That Way.”

“I was fine on the way to the high school but once I got there and started to warm up, I was really nervous I was gonna mess up,” freshman Selena Tian said. “In my mind I kept replaying the part where I mess up the most and thinking that I’ll succeed at doing the tosses.”

It was the junior varsity’s first time performing for winter guard. Also, it is the first year ever for the school to have a junior varsity winter guard due to the growth of the program.

The junior varsity guard uses the same costume and flags as they did in the fall during marching season. They have the appearance of grey and silver sequins with a hint of different neon colors. 

For me, the show means that in the end we are all the same,” freshman Hannah Montalvo said, “We are ‘Crazy that way.'”

The junior varsity placed 9th with a score of 54.980 in Scholastic Regional AA.

“I didn’t do so good and I was shaking a lot because of how nervous I was, and there’s less people performing. As a whole we did pretty good,” Tian said. “There were some really good people in JV and most people were on count but from time to time someone would be out of count.” 

“I think I did decently for the first performance I didn’t really drop or anything,” Montserrat Garcia said. “As a whole, I think we could’ve done better but we’ll improve because we’re capable of so much more.”

Leyendecker observed the team as they performed and gave her views of the show.

“Some of our JV looked very lost while they were performing and that needs to change,” Leyendecker said, “There were also a hefty amount of timing issues but I would chalk that up to first performance nerves.”

On the other hand, others felt confident in the performance.

“I was very proud of myself and happy that I had made it that far,” Montalvo said. “I was nervous the whole time but I had to hold it in for the show, and put a good smile on. I personally think that I could have been a little bit better but I am very proud of everyone and how we perform as a team. We did our best for it being our first time performing.” 

The varsity performed at WGI Canyon HS this past weekend and got 12th place out of 21 guards.

“I wholeheartedly believe we will have an exceptional year. Both shows are unique and well designed. It is up to us to perform our hearts out.” Leyendecker said.

Both guards will be performing at the TECA James Madison HS contest on Saturday with junior varsity performing at 12:04 and varsity at 6:39 pm.

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About the Writer
Leslie Juarez, Staff Writer

Hi! My name is Leslie Juarez and I'm a junior. I am in Color Guard. I enjoy writing, drawing and hanging out with friends.

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