Saturday, June 22, 2024

Winter Guard takes first in season opener

Azle Winter Guard starts off season strong


AZLE — Azle High School’s Varsity Winter Guard won big at the first contest of the season. The school’s varsity team placed first above some 2023 Winter Guard International finalists and North Texas Colorguard Association winners. The guard competed Feb. 3 NTCA at Independence High School in Frisco in the National A category. The next contest is at Alvarado Friday. The group will perform at WGI Dallas Feb. 17-18, WGI’s Austin Regional in Leander March 2-3, WGI Southwest Power Regionals at UNT’s Colosseum March 16-17, NTCA State Championships April 6-7 and hopes to wow judges at the 2024 Colorguard Championship in Dayton, Ohio. The season will be more contest-heavy than what has been typical in the past, with 10 competitions total.

The varsity team consists of 16 students, only three of which are upperclassmen. This year’s show name is “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The show consists of colorguard members performing feats of athleticism and acrobatics around and on-top-of 6-foot and 9-foot blocks. Azle’s Winter Guard performs in National A, a merit-based classification which the team earned through its high-achievement year-after-year. The show has been in planning since April. Colorguard Director Caleb Hunter said the team has put in a tremendous amount of work since November to get its performance to its current level. The director is “super eager” to see his largely freshman and sophomore varsity team continue to exemplify hard work and progress as the season unfolds.

Winter guard Contest rankings

  • 1st: Azle High School Varsity
  • 2nd: LD Bell HS Varsity
  • 3rd: Rock Hill HS Varsity (WGI World Class Finalist 2023)
  • 4th: Emerson HS Varsity (NTCA First Place National A 2023)
  • 5th: The Colony HS Varsity
  • 6th: Wakeland HS Varsity
  • 7th: Mount Pleasant HS Varsity (WGI World Championship Semi-Finalist 2023)
  • 8th: Liberty HS Varsity

“I want to give a special shout-out to our phenomenal parent volunteers,” Hunter said. “We had more than 16 parents show up for our 39 students (varsity and junior varsity). These parents work tirelessly to load our heavy props and floor on the truck, they bring our students nutritious food, and they keep our students safe. I could not be more proud of the team we are building in the colorguard program here at Azle High School.”

Winterguard student leaders are Captain Graciela Cazares (senior), First Lieutenant Sara Gonzales (junior), and Senior Lieutenant Bryanna Pender (senior). Sophomore team members are Annika Birkeland, Karma Cavil, Abigail Evans, Phybie Guinn, Dunessca Gutierrez, KatieAnn Hoyt and Jianna Menefee. Freshman team members are Edward Holt, Evelyn Hymer, Nevaeh Jackson, Jayden Evans, Sierra Leal and Madilyn Sweetser.