Winter guard washes away the competition

Bridget Nye, Staff Writer

Winter Guard International (WGI) is an organization known as the “Sport of the Arts,” and has earned this motto becuase it teaches students to bring music to life through performing in a competitive environment. It consists of Winter Guard, Indoor Percussion and Wind groups. WGI hosts regional competitions across the country so guard programs from all over can compete at an elevated level. 

This year, Edmond Memorial High School’s varsity winter guard was invited to compete at the WGI Regional competition in Tulsa, Okla. Union High School hosted the event for the over 40 teams to compete at. These teams traveled from Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, and Texas to compete in this prestigious contest. This was EMHS’s first time attending this event. 

“We decided to attend our first WGI Regional this year becuase this is the first season we have had a varsity and junior varsity guard,” EMHS Winter Guard director Morgan Repplinger said. “I wanted to make sure we were at the appointed level to be competitive for a WGI Regional, since you are competing with units all across the country.” 

The EMHS varsity team performed their show “Wash Me Away,” which contains flags, sabers, rifles and dance to enhance the visual effect. Since this was the first time the school had enough students to have two teams, the directors were able to design the shows at the appropriate skill level for both. They have been practicing hard since December in order to perform in front of hundreds at WGI. The varsity students competed in the Scholastic A category, the highest level of competition the school has ever performed.

“Competing at a higher level than last year makes me proud of what our team achieved,” sophomore Katie McCook said. 

Performing in such an exciting atmosphere gave the dancers a new found sense of wanting to be the best they could be. They wanted to show the world what EMHS could do. 

 “It definitely gave me a bigger sense of urgency to perform well since it was in front of more people,” junior Cheyenne Cody said. 

While waiting for the results, the students were able to enjoy the other guards and their achievements. Watching the other shows is a way for both the directors and the students to see how they can improve in their own training. 

“It is definitely enlightening to see the difference in skill levels between me and the other guards. I was shown lots of new material and it definitely inspired me,” Cody said. 

After the preliminary performance, all of the directors were sent their scores. The varsity team was given a score of 71 out of 100 for their performance. The team was one place away from making the finals, placing in the middle of all the other groups. EMHS’s dancers were not disappointed, but extremely proud of their hard work in placing so high at the regional competition. 

“We earned a 71 at the contest and I was very happy with our score. We were only one place away from finals at our first regional. I was very proud of the staff and the kids. I am very excited for us to attend future WGI Regionals and to keep building on our successes,” Repplinger said. 

The students were proud that they scored ten points higher than their previous competition, and were able to see that their show was making progress becuase of their dedication to the program. 

“I believe we have gained more determination. Not only to win but to perform in the best way we possibly can,” Cody said. “I think we have gained a sense of where we are at and what we can do next. We are so close to greatness and now we can see ourselves at a higher level.”

Now the dancers are making the finishing touches to make their show the best around. So watch out for the team’s state performance in Jenks on April 2, they will be performing their hearts out.

Contact Bridget Nye at [email protected]