The grand finale

Success has been finding the winter guard squad this year quite frequently. After a slew of second place finishes, the team is gearing up for one last ride. The championship competition is this Saturday, April 6 in Springfield, Missouri. And while the season has had its share of successes, the most recent competition, held March 26 at O’Fallon Township High

School, left a bad taste in the team’s collective mouth.

“We didn’t have our greatest run, I believe we placed sixth,” senior captain Amber Stamper said. The less than stellar finish lingers still, as it affected the seed of the team for this weekend’s championship bout. But even after placing sixth, the squad was still given the fourth seed. The lackluster performance has the team refocused, as their goal for a top three finish was given a minor reality check.

“We have been pushing a little harder and fixing things in order to make it all work and look better,” Stamper said. The captains have been stressing menial points in an effort to make them habitual, so when the day of the competition arrives, they can enjoy the final performance.

“We like to tell the team to count, breathe, practice, watch the recorded video, and to remember changes,” Stamper said. “We’ve been telling them that on this last performance, leave everything out there. Have no regrets because we do not get a redo.” This Saturday will be the final time this guard performs together, and according to Stamper, all this last minute preparation is a bittersweet adventure.

“High school guard is definitely emotional and fun. We were so closely-knit it was like they were all my brothers and sisters,” she said.

The final performance will mark the end of a season defined by camaraderie, and a top three finish looks to be the icing on the cake.