Winterguard triumphantly brings season to a close

April 2, 2010 — by Alex Ju

After coaches made drastic changes this year in Winterguard and split the group into both a varsity and JV team, the team’s strong finish at the San Joaquin Valley Color Guard and Percussion Review (SJVCGPR) Championships on March 26 showed how far the group had come.

Varsity guard placed fourth and JV placed fifth. Both guards were incredibly happy with their final runs, which, while not perfect, had a performance quality that left the members proud.

“It was a good end to our season,” said senior captain Vicki Ni. “We went out with a bang.”
Both the field and winter seasons marked huge improvements for the Saratoga guard, who benefited greatly from increased funding and new instruction by coach Tony Crapo. Despite being caught in an awkward transition year, the members pushed through and continued to improve.
“It was a very interesting season. It had its ups and downs, but it got better towards the end,” said Ni.

In addition to scoring better throughout the season, the guards turned heads with their revamp. Nondescript and unknown last year with their show “Modern Rhythms,” varsity called a great deal of attention to themselves with “The Dark Side of Ballet.” Called “quirky, dynamic and unexpected” in a review by Jolie Henricks at the Fresno Color Guard Regional, the guard even received praise from fellow competitors for their strong dance abilities and unique show design.

Leading up to finals was the guard’s competition at Independence High School on March 13, where both guards placed second. An additional show was scheduled at Oak Grove for March 20; however, it was cancelled and instead the guard held an exchange with Redwood Middle School and Los Gatos High School. The two high schools jointly recognized their seniors during the lighthearted, informal night.

The guards of the rival schools had rarely seen each other. Los Gatos in the Scholastic A class primarily competes in the California Color Guard Circuit (CCGC), while Saratoga competes in Regional A and Scholastic AA, the classes above and below Scholastic A, and performs mostly in SJVCGPR. The exchange thus allowed the guards to meet each other and view each other’s shows.

“The exchange was really fun,” said junior Nikki Fukuda. “It was fun to see Los Gatos’s show.”

Winterguard finished the season on a high note, everyone content with their accomplishments.

“I’ll miss guard,” said Ni. “I love everyone. They’re my family.”

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