Mike George

Morris Knolls is filled with many different programs that showcase the ability of the student body. However, some of these activities are not given the respect they rightfully deserve. One of these programs is the Morris Knolls Winterguard. This year was their first time performing in competitions in the Morris county area and they are bringing more pride to the Morris Knolls name.   

Before this year the Morris Knolls Winterguard only ran for a few weeks, and had a small performance open for other members of the student body. But this year, the team has opted for a more vigorous and intense schedule. With three hour practices after school starting at six and ending at nine every Monday and Wednesday, plus practices on Saturdays which could last all day participants were busy throughout the season. This gave lots of practice time, but also put stress on the students involved.

The premise of Winterguard is to perform a show with the use of interpretive dance, as well as spinning, tossing, and movement of rifles, sabres, flags. This is used to express emotions, and convey different messages. It’s a very difficult feat, and requires work in and out of the scheduled practice.

Freshman Maddie Sens of the Winterguard said, “The first time I went through the show, I thought, ‘Wow I did this. I can actually do this,’ It was so very invigorating, and gave me such confidence.”

Making up each part of the show are individual “lines” as they call them. At the beginning of the season based upon skill and performance in the use of the “weapons” (rifle, sabre, flag) students are placed into certain positions for the season. These lines include “Rifle Line” “Sabre Line” and “Flag Line”.

Sophomore Christine Shasa, explained her experience this season saying, “Making Rifle line was my most riveting experience this season. My friends and I were in a circle when we all found out our placements, we all started crying after we were told.”  Each member puts their heart and soul into their practice time. Their emotions are tied into their performance, and that is what helps turn a show into an award winning performance.

The Winterguard show this year was titled “ Finding a Light In a Journey Through Darkness.” Captain of the winterguard Sophomore Tori Lee explained, “The show was about Little Red Riding Hood [played by Rosemary Camillo]  finding her way through the forest of darkness looking for the light she has lost. There were prop trees, and the guard wore a type of witch-like robes.” The winterguard show was a true masterpiece all of which was designed by the Director of the Winterguard and Colorguard, Morris Knolls Alumni, Taylor Furman.

Furman also participates in teaching the Morris Knolls Colorguard in the marching band. Miss. Furman said, “anyone new and who is interested in guard should try it, we have many new spin clinics where you can come and just witness a practice first hand. In guard you make a lot of new friends, you never truly know until you try it out for yourself.”     

There is more to guard than just performing, It’s a place to meet new people, and make even greater friends. Graduating senior Mary Johnson shared her personal feelings about the season saying “Bittersweet is the only word I can think to describe it. I am fortunate enough to have such an amazing experience performing with my best friends, but knowing it is over brings sadness over me definitely. I will never forget counting the last set of the performance.”  

The Guard finished their season with not a single loss in any of the competitions they participated in. Avani Desai explained, “I think its really cool, it’s the first time the Winterguard competed, and i’m proud of how we all did, I’m so excited for the next season, and whatever more is to come.” It’s hard to follow up with such an amazing season, however, Morris Knolls Winterguard will no doubt bring home even more records with their new show next year.