Oh(io), the Places You’ll Go

Written By: Jill Ramey ’19, Staff Writer

When we last heard from the Bethel Varsity Winterguard, the girls were conquering  Massachusetts in regional competition, placing fifth in the preliminary round with a score of 65.100 and again in finals with a score of 65.790. Since then, the Winterguard has participated in another regional competition in New Jersey, various shows throughout Connecticut and took home first place in South-West Conference championships! After a successful season, it, like all good things, has come and gone in the blink of an eye as the team had their celebratory banquet on April 11. To conclude the season, however, the Bethel Varsity Winterguard had one final hoorah as they returned to WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio for the first time in eight years! The girls worked to their full potential to get to this final showdown, and the twelve hour journey proved to be worth their while.

Their division, consisting of over one hundred teams, split between the Cintas Center and Millett Hall for prelims and semi-finals and came together at the University of Dayton for finals. In the preliminary round, Bethel increased by over twenty points from their time in Salem, scoring an impressive 80.480. This incredible escalation in score helped bring our small-town team to semi-finals, where only half of the performers moved on. In this next stage of competition the Bethel Winterguard rose once more with a score of 81.450. Though the girls did not move onto finals from there, these nineteen determined ladies earned much more than any trophy they could have received. Meghan Kirschbaum 16’, one of seven seniors on the team, said, “Dayton was a new and exciting experience and definitely the best way to end my time with my team.” Jayme Colombo, one of the varsity’s only eighth grade members, added, “Dayton will definitely be one of the most memorable and exciting moments of my life. I’m very excited to see where the next years will take our team.”

Having had six hours to watch teams from worldwide rather than performing in finals competition, Jill Rodgers ‘17 continues, “it was a great experience to see a variety of different guards from across both the country and the world come together to perform.”

Winterguard is a unique art form, a sport quite unlike anything else, and with it comes immense joy. It offers various valuable lessons about team-work, pushing oneself to greatness, the surreal feeling of performing before an adoring crowd, and creating lifelong friendships more impactful than any score or placement ever could be. Congratulations to our Varsity Winterguard, may you have the best of luck in years to come, and so long to the seven seniors who have poured their hearts and souls into the program.

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