EATON — The Eaton High School Varsity Winter Guard won first out of 12 other teams at the Mid East Performance Association Regional Competition on Saturday, March 7.
The Junior Varsity team took home a second place win in its category.
According to Coach Lisa White, the varsity team currently has 12 members including four brand new students who have never competed before. Their rehearsal schedule is full, six to 10 hours per week on average. The Junior Varsity is a group made up of 13 members, which includes students who love the sport but cannot commit to a full rehearsal schedule, so they participate just to learn more and perfect their craft in hopes of moving to varsity one day.
The Eaton High School Winter Guard started in 2016, directed by White.
“The program started with only 11 members and over the four years, over 50 students have participated and tried the activity. We are extremely proud of where the program is today and will go in the future with the continued support of the Eaton School District. I know this activity means more to these kids and their parents than any competition. It’s about belonging to a family, growing as a human, learning new skills, feeling positive about something, and performing in front of large audiences,” she said.
So far this year, Eaton High School Varsity Winter Guard has had an incredible run at each competition, staying in the top three each time.
“With minor adjustments and tweaks to the routine, as well as adding some “flare” and crowd moments, this years routine entitled ‘DeJa Vu’ seems to be ready for Championships,” White said. “‘DeJa Vu’ is the title of this years varsity winter show. The song is called Honeymoon by Johnny Stimpson. He wrote this song for his wife for their anniversary. The lyrics say that he loves her just as much today as he did on their honeymoon.
“Our main characters are freshman Brandon Boomershine and Katherine Daughtry who are in love. He takes her through a journey full of memories with pictures from their trips to the beach, Paris, France and Nee York City. Other crowd moments include a huge rifle toss with a silk flying over his head to block his view for the catch by Sophomore Nick Azzalina and beautiful dance and flag soloists Arianna Watkins and Emily Turner. We have been extremely lucky to have had some incredible guest choreographers come in this season to work with this group. Two World Class Guard Members, Rufus from Onyx and Elizabeth from Juxtaposition.
“‘Wonka Mania’ is this years Junior Varsity Routine and proves to be a crowd favorite with their unique hip hop version of the soundtrack. The music is mixed with songs Golden Ticket, Oompa Loompa, and Pure Imagination. We can’t help but laugh every time by cheering for this group. They continue to grow each week and we are proud of their accomplishments.”
For members of the team, the score is a welcome payoff of their hard work and dedication.
“Our last competition felt very relaxed, fun, [and] enjoyable. It was not stressful and everyone seemed to be happy, excited, and ready,” Freshmen Katherine Daugherty said. “I feel that we definitely deserved the score we received. We all have worked hard, put a lot of time and effort into this show. There are things we need to work on, obviously to prepare for championships and improve our score so the other teams don’t catch up. We must continue to work hard and do our best.
Captain Emily Turner added, “I am really thrilled with our score and placement at Springboro. With Prelims and Championships approaching, I am really confident that we will place very well later this month. I love being a part of Winter Guard. Being a part of a program that constantly helps other performing groups and lifts each other up is amazing. This year, the team works extremely well together and I am so glad that I get to spin with this wonderful group of performers.”
Following their win, the Varsity Winter Guard was set to compete at Prelims at Northmont High School. The Junior Varsity qualified to compete at the Championship Competition.
However, MEPA made the tough decision to end the season early.
Mid East Performance Association issued the following statement, “The health and safety of our community is at the forefront of our minds as we make the difficult decision to end our MEPA 2020 season. We are acting on the orders from the State of Ohio, recommendations from show hosts, as well as following the lead from WGI.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH