BJ’s First Ever JV Winter Guard

The guard is getting ready for their WGI competitions

Yunona Shkolnikov, Writer, Photographer

Winter guard: a competitive group that mainly focuses on movement, technique, and choreography with flags, sabers, and rifles after color guard ends in the fall. The Bob Jones winter guard group is the number one high school color guard in the state, winning the “Best Color Guard” award at the Alabama State Marching Band Championships in Muscle Shoals, AL in 2018. But where does the talent begin? Most of the girls in the Bob Jones guard today have been spinning since joining the Discovery Middle School guard. Unfortunately, the Discovery band program recently cut the winter guard program due to expenses and time, which lead to Brooke Howe, the BJHS color guard director, and Taylor Gilbert, Discovery’s director, to create the first ever junior varsity winter guard at Bob Jones.

The JV team will compete in Novice class and will consist of those who did not make varsity and Discovery 8th graders who made tryouts.

Shelby Dennis, a Bob Jones 2018 graduate who helps instruct the JV team, shared, “I think Discovery is being challenged a lot with JV. To be on the JV team, they had to adjust to a 6-foot pole and learn a whole handful of difficult tosses that especially challenge them. On top of that, they are starting to learn how to move and spin at the same time, but they are handling all the things we’re giving them very well.” Most of the JV girls agreed that they are being more challenged, stating that they have “learned difficult material,” that “tosses and routines that are much harder,” and there is “more drill than last year.”

Although it is hard work, 97% say they enjoy being part of the Bob Jones JV team because it prepares them for  joining the BJHS color guard in the fall, and they enjoy the advanced competitive work. Brooke Howe stated, “The JV guard allows the Discovery girls who are ready for more of a challenge to spin at a higher level. This will hopefully facilitate an easier transition to the high competitive level of the BJHS guard.” It also gives an opportunity to the freshmen who did not make varsity to spin all year long.

This is not the only change for the winter guard. The varsity team will be competing for the first time in the WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio this year. This means that they will be practicing extra hard and earlier on, since WGI preliminaries, semi-finals, and finals take place the first week of April. Sydney Pennywell, a junior on the varsity team, stated, “I cannot wait to go to Dayton! I’m super excited.”

And so the new season begins with a new team and a new competition.