Varsity Winter Guard: Starting the Road to Success


Ryan Dormody

The 2015-2016 Varsity Winter Guard team after they took 1st place at the Midwest Color Guard Circuit championships.

Ashley Schenk, Staff Writer

The Round Lake High School Varsity Winter Guard team are reigning Midwest Champions and are looking towards their upcoming 2016-2017 season with high hopes and big dreams.

The team has a clear shot at achieving their big dreams with a heavy season ahead of them. The team has competed in the Midwest Color Guard Circuit (MWCGC) for five years and among their usual competitions throughout that circuit, they will also be branching out to Winter Guard International (WGI) to compete against teams from all over the country at a contest in Flint, Michigan. The team will compete in a total of six competitions across the Midwest, ending in April with the MWCGC Championships where they hope to take home a first place trophy once again.

Coach Jamie Dormody is leading the team throughout a four-and-a-half minute show titled “A Night at the Opera” that features a rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.

“I choose shows that I think best fits the team I have for that season,” Dormody said. “I think this team has the skills to portray this show at a superior level that will take us very far in the season.”

The team’s previous shows have included songs and renditions of musicals and movies such as “Mary Poppins” and “Phantom of the Opera” and have all been challenging, but the team members are hoping to push the limits with the show they have selected for this season. “We compete with the same show every competition, but we tend to change it in a few ways for every contest when we get our judges’ feedback,” Dormody said. “The team is always open to new changes and never turns away from things I throw at them. They’re a hard-working group.”

The Winter Guard teams compete almost every weekend or every other weekend across the Midwest and are making their debut at an international competition for the first time in this upcoming season. “Competing in Michigan not only provides the team with the experience of a lifetime, but it also demonstrates how much the team has evolved,” Senior Gisselle Tellez said. “Reaching a point in which we will be recognized nationally for our hard work places a value on the long hours in the gym.” The winter guard team is competing in the Scholastic Regional A class of the Winter Guard International circuit among many other teams. This competition will be a two-night stay in Flint, Michigan that the members are looking forward to. “We have one overnight competition every year and it is when the team bonds and connects the most,” Tellez said. “Two nights with some of my favorite people, competing on such a big scale, is one of the greatest memories I’ll have being a part of this team.” Tellez makes up one of the 11 seniors on the team but the other seven are from all grade levels.

The team is saying goodbye to over half of its members this year as they age out, but it has welcomed many underclassmen. “I am very excited to be working with our seniors and learn the many skills they have,” Sophomore, Hannah Jewitt said. “I am also very excited to be welcomed onto varsity at such a young age. It’s been very challenging, but I think I am adjusting well.” Jewitt and Anouk Maskevich are the only two underclassmen on the varsity team.

“It’s not a usual thing to see freshman and sophomores already at a varsity level,” Tellez said. “But they definitely rose to the standard and bring as much to this team as our seniors do.” The underclassmen will be a part of the first Round Lake High School Winter Guard team to compete at WGI and look forward to being a part of the success this season and in seasons to come.

The team has a heavy practice schedule in the coming weeks to prepare for their first competition on February 4th in Cedarburg, WI. This is a regular competition they have attended for many years and are looking forward to it once again. The team is hoping for another successful season and are ready for the challenges ahead of them as they compete at their highest level yet.