Preparation with purpose

FHC Winter guard train mentally, emotionally and physically for their Feb. 23 competition


Zoe Lentz

Marie Cook, Elyssa Herrera and Evelyn Herrera perform at the Pink Out Pep Rally. The seem to be spinning their flags in time.

Ruthann Kimbrel and Holly Whaley

Preparing for competitions, especially later ones in which judges become more critical in performances for the successful implementation to exceed the judges expectations it takes hard work, life-draining intensity and enormous amounts of emotional, mental and physical involvement. After experiencing their first competition of the season, the winter guard knows what to do differently, and what to improve on in this next competition. Coaches expect the members to be drained of energy yet excited and motivated to keep their heads high while loving every single toss, leap and roll along the way.

Sophomore Gianna Deidrick has felt those pressures from her coaches and continues to feel them.

“This season has been a challenge when it comes to learning something new, but even though I’m still learning I’m still really enjoying it,” Deidrick said.

Deidrick shares her emotions with everyone else in guard due to the non-stop motivation from everyone.

“The coaches and everyone have been super supportive. I’ve only been in guard for maybe a month and I already feel like kinda like a family member,”Deidrick said.

The coaches are there for them, supporting them and acknowledging when even a small break is detrimental.

“They’ve been very understanding about everything. They’ve said many times that they are there for us,” Deidrick said.

The others in guard have also been very supportive and understand when we’re going through a hard time,” Deidrick said.


Junior Marie Cook has experienced the ups and downs of both fall and winter guard since her first performance in the marching band 2016 show “Mirrorrim” and “Shadows” winter guard show from it’s 2017-18 season.

“You can use the past like if you had a fall, you can use the strength from that. As an  example, if everyone was really good at drop spins and really bad at peggy spins, let’s apply the drop spins to the peggy spins and find that same attitude,”Cook said.

While in guard, Cook has learned more about herself and about others as well.

“I have learned that I am a perfectionist; much more of a perfectionist than I previously thought myself to be,” Cook said.

Though Cook has worked with numerous coaches over her years in guard, she has absorbed many valuable things from each and every one of them, constantly learning new things and bettering herself.  

“I’ve learned a lot of really good life skills like respect and discipline and being on time,” Cook said. “I’m really glad that they’ve all taught me all they’ve brought to the table and that I’ve been able to take it all from them.”

Sophomore Evelyn Herrera is in winter guard for the second year in a row and after their last competition the guard went on to focusing on improving their show for their next competition. After careful analysis of the current show, it was decided that some changes needed to be made.

“We’ve been practicing drill. We’ve changed [the show] more to like the interest of more people, so that it’s not just boring and basic,” Evelyn Herrera said.

As the Feb. 23 competition draws closer the guard continues to train harder. Going over the show continuously and perfecting their new additions. The guard is looking forward to competing and seeing where their new and improved routine stands come the 23rd.