Champions Once Again

April 23, 2017


Ryan Dormody

Round Lake High School’s Varsity Winter Guard after they won the Midwest Color Guard Circuit Championships.

Every guard team goes to championships to prove that they’re not “just the flag team,” they are the hardworking boys and girls who can throw flags, rifles, and sabers 25 feet in the air and catch them seamlessly. The performers leave it all on the floor for one last performance, and despite the feeling of their hearts beating out of their chest, there is no place they would rather be.

And there was absolutely no place the Round Lake High School winter guard would have rather been when they heard their name called as the 2017 champions shortly after the last performance of their season.

The Round Lake varsity winter guard finished off their undefeated season at the Midwest Color Guard Circuit Championships on April 1 in LaPorte, IN. The team scored a 84.95, the highest score out of 25 teams, earning themselves gold medals for the second year in a row. Their show was titled “Surprise Symphony” and was performed to a rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.

The judges scored the team a 84.95 out of 100, a 27.74-point jump from the very first competition. The guard team is judged by five people; an equipment judge, a movement judge, a design judge, and two different general effect judges. The varsity team had the highest scores in all five categories. “I have nothing but good things to say about this program, I just love seeing it,” Judge Keith Baker said. “Out of all the shows I’ve seen today this is the one of whose memory I’ll take home with me.” Baker was one of the team’s general effect judges who was blown away by the performance of the boys and girls. The team received judges’ tapes that are recorded throughout the duration of their performance to express the true appeal given off by the performers. They truly left an impact on the judges, as shown by the score and medals they received.

The team is coached by Jaime Dormody who is ecstatic to have led another championship-winning team. “The girls and boys have outdone themselves once again,” Dormody said. Dormody has coached color and winter guard at RLHS for 10  years, and last year was her first time taking home gold at the MCGC Championships.

“I was extremely happy and proud that we pulled off back-to-back wins,” Dormody said.  “It has never happened before in our class.” She guided the team through five regional competitions and one national competition where they placed first as well.

Dormody is the backbone of the team, and all the members love having her as a coach. “When it came to competition day, she always told us not to worry about what score we needed to obtain; she wanted us to have fun. She cared more about the team and the experience,” said Senior Cristian Velazquez, who has participated on varsity for three years and has seen the team grow first hand. Velazquez helped write parts of the show for this season, and he worked with members that had just started on the varsity team this season.

The team is ending its season sending off 11 seniors who all are going out as two-time champions. “To be a two-time champion is just simply amazing. I don’t know of many teams that have this outcome, and for us it’s outstanding,” Velazquez said. He believes the team was able to pull off a difficult routine to a difficult piece of music exceptionally well. “I am extremely proud of this team and this year’s show is something I will hold onto forever.”

The RLHS varsity guard team stood among 25 other teams who were all fighting for one first-place trophy, gold medals to wear, and the title to bring home. This was an experience nothing less than nerve racking, but they managed to finish off the season as Midwest Color Guard Circuit champions once again.


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