Winterguard Raises the Bar

Catherine Rogers, Editor

After a five year absence, the novice winterguard team of 16 members began competing at the start of the winter season and has already won first place twice in a row at the Cedar Park and Canyon competitions. Last week, the team was reviewed for reclassification and received news it was promoted to Scholastic, a title of higher status. Under the leadership of co-captains Kate Namumuh and Janessa Pina-Barrientez, the team is taking unprecedented steps toward recognition and success.

“The first time we touched a flag we were like ‘What is this? How do you do this?’ and now we are doing tosses behind our backs and many other things,” Pina-Barrientez said. “We hit our heads sometimes, but it’s okay, we know we can do it.”

The colorguard team which performs with the band at football games on Friday nights is taking the spotlight as it continues to perform even after the fall season, only indoors now, and under a different name. In the past, colorguard was a prerequisite for aspiring Star Steppers who would follow the Starline process during the winter season.

“I think this way works better without the whole prerequisite because you get girls that really care about the activity and are not just there to get into Star Steppers,” Namuhmuh said. “I like that a lot better.”

The team practices with flags and rifles after school every Tuesday and Thursday from 4 to 7 in the cafeteria and competes almost every weekend with rival winterguard teams. In fact, the winterguard team is on its way to compete at championships in Pflugerville after spring break.

“Sometimes it feels meaningless to go to practice, but it’s actually really nice to feel recognized for all of the hard work that we do,” Namuhmuh said. “It brings a lot of joy and pride to me and the other girls.”

This is Namuhmuh’s first season in winterguard, and she was elected to the co-captain position.

“A lot of my friends are in band and being in colorguard gave me a way to have a bigger circle of friends and learn more about different types of dance,” Namuhmuh said. ““It also helped me take initiative with my own team. As the year went by, I felt like I needed to step up and take actions.”

Nevertheless, for Namuhmuh, being in winterguard has been a learning experience that has given her the opportunity to make personal goals for herself and the team.

“I want to leave the team with a type of leadership that they can follow,” Namuhmuh said. “I think I’m a little bossy during rehearsals, but I hope they don’t take it the wrong way because I just want to push them to their best and let them know that rehearsal time is important. I want to feel like I contributed to the team, and I hope that, in the future, winterguard becomes a huge thing and is respected.”

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