Story by: Carly Stapelman
After having a successful season last year, the Madison winter guard team is off to a good start again with a new show and new members. On Saturday, Jan. 30, these girls attended a competition at Westlake High School in Utah. They took first place in their division of 10 teams.
“I feel way happy and super excited that we made it. I love the feeling when you catch a hard toss, and all the hours of practice unfold into the finished show,” said Sophomore Angelica Gohr.
These girls have put in so many hours of practice in the last two months. It takes a lot of strength and stamina for them to be able to do what they do.
“The hardest part of guard is the 8 hour long rehearsals, for sure. You’re so exhausted, but you just keep on going and pushing yourself through it because you know you’ll be better for it,” said Freshman Heather Howard.
With as much time as they have spent together, the team has grown really close to one another. Through rehearsals and performances, the girls have become good friends.
“The best part of winter guard is how close we are as a team! Going into highschool I didn’t have very many close friends, but guard has helped me grow closer to all of these girls,” said Junior Emily Stumpf.
Not only does guard build friendships and improve spinning skills, but it also provides leadership opportunities for some of the girls.The captains of the team enjoy getting the chance to help the team grow.
“I absolutely love being a captain. It gives me so much pride to be able to represent the team during awards and to watch the team learn and grow throughout the season. These girls are truly one of a kind and amazing. Although sometimes the duties of a captain can be frustrating or stressful, being able to spin next to my girls makes it all worth it,” said Junior Megan Havens.
At the competition, the girls realized how much they love to perform. They enjoy demonstrating their skills in front of the other guard teams and the spectators.
“I love performing! I love to feel the excitement and energy in the audience. It’s so amazing when you think all those people are there for you and to see you perform,” said Howard.
Although the team gets really excited to perform, it can also be very nerve wracking for them to walk out on that floor and execute their routine.
“Performing can be scary, you feel like you’re putting yourself out there for everyone to see, but the thrill of accomplishing hard things makes it all worth it,” said Stumpf.
Competitions bring thrills beyond performance. Spending the whole day with other teams gives the girls opportunities to make acquaintances with people from all over Utah.
“I love getting to meet new people from other guards. I love that I get that chance to share what I love with so many other people,” said Junior Heaven Cruppi.
Several of the Utah guard teams embraced the Madison team last year. They are the only competitive winter guard in Idaho, so in order to compete, they travel to Utah seven weekends from January through March. The friendship and camaraderie the girls receive from the other teams helps them feel welcome in the Utah circuit. With the success of their first competition, the Madison winter guard team is looking forward to the rest of their season.