Winter guard wraps up successful season


Photo Courtesy OHS Winter Guard

Ben Lanier (10), Jenna Yeager (10), and Caden McGivlery (9) perform at the O’Fallon Township winter guard competition.

The OHS Winter Guard had a successful season ending at Grand Championships. This season the varsity team competed in five competitions and JV competed in three.

Varsity’s first competition of the season was at Mascoutah  High School on Jan. 26. The guard placed second with a score of 57 behind Ft. Zumwalt West Silver.

“It was a good start to the season and I feel like it set us up for success for the rest of the season,” Helen Tolcou (10) said.

At the Edwardsville competition (Feb. 23), Varsity placed first with a score of 68.2 in Scholatisic AA. JV placed fifth with a score of 64.7 in Scholastic Regional A.

“It was definitely exciting to get first place, but it was also exciting to see JV perform for the first time. They were nervous at first, but that definitely left when they walked out to the floor,” varsity leadership Triona Leech (11) said.

At Winter Guard International (WGI), varsity made OHS guard history by placing third behind Blue Springs and Edwardsville. The competition was on March 9 in Springfield, Missouri.

Going into the competition, Tolcou said they were not expecting to go to finals, but they placed third in their preliminary performance. “We were super excited, and Zac (Head Winter Guard Coach) just told us to have fun. So I think that helped us to do well in finals because we were relaxed and doing what we do best,” Tolcou said.

Because of their high placement at WGI, the varsity guard moved up a division. Moving from Scholastic AA to Scholastic A was another big step forward for the program.

“We’ve moved up two classes since we started last year, and our program has only been around 2 years so that’s amazing,” Tolcou said.

For their fourth competition, at O’Fallon High School (March 16), varsity scored 81.3 and placed second behind Edwardsville. JV also competed at O’Fallon and placed eighth with a score of 68.6.

“It was our first competition in a new division. We were nervous, but our coach assured us that competions aren’t about beating others, they’re about beating your previous score,” said Leech.

Varsity and JV competed at MCCGA (Mid Continental Color Guard Association) Championships for their last competition on March 30. Varsity placed fourth overall, competing against more than 35 guards, including ones that were above their class. JV placed ninth in Scholastic Regional A out of 11 guards.

Leech said, “Overall, it was a really good run. It was amazing earning fourth place, but we were a little stressed at first after just seeing JV’s performance.” During JV’s run, their music cut out, the floor was backwards, and it ripped. “However, JV placed pretty well and had a 10 point increase from the last competition.”

This year was the premiere of the JV team. The team had 12 members, eight of which had no prior guard experience

“It was very fun and it was a good season overall. I love all my teammates and we hang out all the time,” said Abby Funkhouser (9), a member of the JV team.

While the program has only completed its second year, it had tremendous growth and accomplishments. Varsity medaled at every competition this season and plan to keep growing in size and placements.

“Next year will be my last year in this program,” Leech said. “I can’t wait to see where we’ll go next year.”