Winter Guard didn’t shoot to the top of their division easily. They had to fight through multiple competitions and climb their way from rookie status to the very top in Michigan.
The climb began in early March where the Winter Guard club had three Michigan Color Guard Circuit (MCGC) competitions: Novi Winter Programs, Troy Athens & Alias, and Chippewa Valley Boosters. After winning the first place trophy in the first two competitions, the club pushed themselves up into 2nd place out of the seven in their division. The team in first? University of Michigan.
After back to back wins, the club made a three-peat first place win and then is bumped to the first place standing, beating out University of Michigan by less than a point. They made it to the state championships in the first year of their program.
As Winter Guard President, Laura Coan, explains, ” it was really anyone’s game as the top 3 were rather close in score”.
Coan describes for us what it was like going through state championships as the rookie team from Oakland:
On the day of state finals we gave it our all, and being on that floor as the crowd went crazy for our show was an amazing feeling.
At the end of the evening we lined up for awards, as they started calling out our class the excitement was building as we got closer and closer to the top without hearing our name, my goal and what I would been pleased with was placing 3rd or better. As they called third and it still wasn’t us, I knew we made it, I mean second place is amazing.
Then they called second place, Michigan Winter Ensemble. I almost fainted. Literally. We came in first! Against a team I had always looked up to! A team that I thought was amazing! I could barely catch my breath, as they called “And in 1st place with a score of 80.26…Oakland University Winter guard!”
I was beside myself, quite literally sobbing as we accepted the award. It was a moment that I feel words don’t do it justice! Afterwards I had people I did not even know congratulating me and saying my reaction was priceless, this must mean a lot to me, they thought I was going to faint right on the floor! All I can say is that truly is how much it means to me. It is everything to me, having built it up from nothing to where we are now!
I am surprised in a sense of I would never imagined we would be here this soon after starting it! We had an amazing team pulled together and amazing instructors that helped pull this off! It took a lot of hard work and the title of state champions is definitely deserved.
Oakland’s Winter Guard club shook things up for the other Michigan Winter Guard teams. As a first time team starting from nothing and making it to first place in the state championship really shows how much dedication this club sport has to its sport. “I am sure those against us will be out next year to beat us” says Coan, “But at the same time we will be working to maintain the state champion title, so I suppose it is anyone’s game”.
Now that their season is over, they are taking time off for now until gearing back up in the summer in preparation for the fall. Coan tells us the plan for the team, “next year we plan to compete in MCGC again and looking forward to it!” Coan continues, “we are looking into attending the WGI (Winter Guard International) finals in Dayton OH as well”.
For those that do not know, with Winter Guard there are two levels for the competitions. The more regional, Michigan Color Guard Circuit, and the Winter Guard Internationals. Oakland’s Winter Guard team placed 3rd in the only WGI competition they went to this past season, an accomplishment for a league that competes on the international scale.
Even though the Winter Guard Club is competing in regional and working to compete internationally again, they’re still an active club on campus. As Coan exclaims” WE LOVE OU” and goes on to say “we love attending events around campus, and look forward to the fall and performing and some footballs games again as well as any other events we can do”!
For those wanting to see the Winter Guard Club in action, check out the captains of the team on May 7th as they participate in Vitality Dance’s Annual Showcase. You can also like their Facebook page here.