Winter guard claims victory

Team wins first place at competition


Daisy Calderon/Talon

Color guard team won their first competition on March 23 at Valencia High School.

Utter disbelief and an overwhelming sense of pride and happiness filled the hearts and minds of Oak Park High School’s winter guard members upon receiving the title of first place at their competition.

The competition, which took place on Saturday, March 23 at Valencia High School, marked the first ever guard performance in which Oak Park scored first place. Being the last school called up plastered the “biggest smiles” on captains and freshmen Ruby Pokras and Brynn Gorney’s faces.

“We’re such a small guard it was hard to believe we beat so many other amazing guards with more people,” Gorney said.

A new and rigorous routine, weeks of practice and meticulous planning all worked simultaneously to allow the guard team to bring their best to the floor.

“We definitely worked hard and it paid off in the end,” Gorney said. “I definitely feels like [they] earned [first place].”

Various team members experienced a series of different emotions before their performance.

“One of our members was too sick to perform, and we had two others with recovering concussions, among other injuries. I personally just didn’t feel good during our run-throughs,” sophomore Shri Arulmani said. “[We knew we had] to keep working just as hard for our next competition.”

While practicing, some slight changes were made to the show in order to perfect it.

“[The] music was slightly different and featured a dance break [and] rifle solo in the middle of the song, which we hadn’t performed before,” Arulmani said

“In the end, the fact that we were so laid back and not over stressing everything really made the guard [team] come together. We’ve learned in the past that if we’re stressed out or scared of a competition or showcase then that will result in a bad outcome, so we tried our best to make everything relaxed and not as stressed as it has been in the past,” Gorney said. “We still worked really hard and earned the score we got.”

The team was incredibly excited about their victory and have reached a general consensus that the harder they work, the better the payoff.

“I think winning has given us a boost of confidence because it shows that we are able to achieve things if we work for it as well as knowing we have the potential to do well in future marching band and winter guard events,” Pokras said.

As for the future of the team, many members are excited for their next season and hope to do better than their performances this year.

”I definitely think that winning first place has put some extra pressure on the guard. The stress just comes from wanting to own up to the previous score and wanting to do just as [well], if not better, than the last competition,” Gorney said. “But I think that we really just want to have a good time and it really was an amazing and fun season.”