Boys Breaking Boundaries

Junior%2C+Ruben+Pacheco%2C+and+Freshman%2C+Marco+Escobar%2C+with+their+2017+Junior+Varsity+Winter+Guard+team.

Ryan Dormody

Junior, Ruben Pacheco, and Freshman, Marco Escobar, with their 2017 Junior Varsity Winter Guard team.

Ashley Schenk, Sports & Lifestyle Writer

RLHS Fine Arts Boosters
Senior, Cristian Velasquez, and Junior, Carl Asuncion, with their 2017 Varsity Winter Guard team.

Winter Guard at Round Lake High School has consistently been made up of girls, but in just the last few years boys have been welcomed on the team with open arms. From dance to weapons, to flag, to the social life of the team, the boys add a different aspect and see a different side of winter guard that the girls don’t always see.

The Winter Guard program has a varsity and a junior varsity team with two boys on each team. The two boys on varsity are Cristian Velasquez, a senior, and Carl Asuncion, a junior, who have both gone through multiple seasons on the teams and have learned the ropes of what it’s like to be a boy on the team. The two boys on junior varsity are Ruben Pacheco, a junior, and Marcos Escobar, a freshman. Both of these boys have just started on the team this year and are learning the ways of winter guard.

The boys that have been on guard for quite some time have learned what it takes to be on a team featuring mainly girls. They believe that they have certain advantages over female team members, especially in areas where more strength is needed. “Being a boy does have an advantage especially when it comes to weapons,” said Velasquez. The boys can take winter guards heavier pieces of equipment, like wooden rifles, and grasp many more advanced tricks faster. “I quickly grasped the techniques of weapons my first year and was able to do a triple on rifle by the end of the first season,” Velasquez said. “But, dance really isn’t my forte so it took a while to adjust.” Both Velasquez and Asuncion agree that equipment work is something boys tend to excel at, but the body movement can take a while to adjust too, but they have both mastered it in their years on the team. “It took a while getting used to the body movement and technique, but it’s something that is second nature to me now,” Asuncion said. “The only thing different from the girls and guys now is the effort to get ready, and it takes way less time thanfully.” The boys that have been a part of winter guard for many seasons have been able to adjust to the little things, like pointed toes and flowy body work, and have no weaker differences, only stronger.

The two boys who have just begun their guard careers have had to face a few more challenges as they get used to working on a team made up of mostly girls. “What I really needed to adjust to was going into an all girls team and being able to be as graceful and lyrical as them,” RLHS Junior Pacheco said. “I have to try and look pretty doing everything.” The new boys have had to put in a bit of effort to adjust to the way they need to move when it comes to guard, but it’s something they both enjoy. “I went in knowing nothing about guard, and I have grasped many new concepts, and I’m looking forward to mastering them,” RLHS Freshmen Escobar said. “But, I’m excited about being on an all girl team, it’s something I take pride in.” The new boys have both agreed it’s taken some getting used to, but they are well on their way to success and have fallen in love with the sport and art form.

Not only do the boys love being on the team, but the other members love having them because of the elements they provide and the skills they possess. “They are some of our top performers and break the stereotypes that are embedded within some sports,” Senior and guard co-captain, Kristal Angeles said. “They’re part of our family, just our brothers instead of our sisters.” 

The coach, Jaime Dormody, also loves having boys on the team because they provide a different atmosphere from an all-girl environment. “The boys can be some of our strongest members and they bring a lot of life to our team socially and when it comes to performances,” said Dormody. “They have unique personalities among the girls and provide a lot of fun for the team.” 

The boys on guard don’t struggle with much but the things they once did struggle with have become second nature to them as seasons have gone by. Boys in such an activity provide everyone with a different atmosphere and bring something to the team no one else has.