The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

Winter Guard Wonders

Winter guard holiday team bonding. Photo courtesy of Rachael Staskiewicz.

“I love winter guard—it’s a certain energy that you don’t have or get to experience a lot. It’s mixing dance and the casual throwing equipment around, which is fun,” said Rachael Staskiewicz (‘26).

Unlike color guard, which is performed outdoors on a football field and accompanied by a marching band, winter guard takes place indoors, usually in a gymnasium, and is performed using live music. Winter guard is a competitive, performance-based activity that incorporates choreographed staging, dance, and movement of equipment like flags, prop rifles, or sabers.

The intricate dances and skills incorporated with winter guard make the performances accessible for all to watch.

“I think even people who aren’t particularly interested in the sport would enjoy seeing it,” said Amelia Smith (‘24). 

With the winter guard season at Chamblee just kicking off, the athletes are looking forward to performing their show since their recent move into a more advanced category.

“I’m excited to perform our show in the new category we got moved up into because it will be a little harder and more competitive, which is exciting,” said Madeleine Petchokomani (‘24). 

Winter guard season consists of four competitions at different schools around the metro Atlanta area and championships, as well as other performances for the general public.

“We have our usual four competitions this season, as well as championships in Chattanooga, but I always look forward to the community showcase. It usually happens closer to spring break, but it’s just a really great chance to show off our hard work to our friends and classmates,” said Smith. 

A photo of Madeleine Petchokomani (’24) performing.
Photo courtesy of Madeleine Petchokomani.

Throughout the long season, winter guards do different activities in order to maintain a strong sense of teamwork and togetherness.

“We do team building and bonding activities, journaling together, and just in general to try to always build each other up,” said Mariann Kersh (‘26). 

For the intense season, the athletes believe proper preparation and attention to detail are essential to remaining healthy.

“It’s just a lot of preparation and practicing. The details are so important—my coach is always talking about how important it is to focus on the details,” said Staskiewicz. “It’s a lot of making sure everything is engaging, and making sure you’re warming up correctly so there’s no injuries.

One major goal the team has for this year is to portray confidence in every aspect of performing to show others that they can compete at a higher level while still being successful.

“We all talked about portraying confidence because we got promoted last year and we got bumped into a higher level of competition,” said Staskiewicz. “We’re trying to show hey, we’re here, we can do this. We’re good even though we’re one of the smallest guards.”

Winter guard athletes believe their cohesive team chemistry is built from a bond that they all share.

“I think we have a very strong team bond. It helps that most of us were on the fall color guard team together, but when you spend so much time with other people collaborating and doing something you enjoy, you tend to become really close,” said Smith. “Winter guard is already a very supportive sport— everyone is super friendly and uplifting wherever you go, so it’s easy to stay together as a team.”

If you’re looking to be included in this sport, try out next year. Winter guard is always looking for new athletes, and veteran members work to create an inviting environment.

“We try to be very welcoming, teach [new members] as much as we can, bond with them, and just be nice in general,” said Kersh.

Winter guard is not just a sport, but an art form that showcases precision, dedication, and incredible skill. It brings people together and allows them to present themselves in a unique way, one of the many aspects that allures these athletes to this sport.

“I love my team and I would say we’re all very close and we have a strong bond,” said Staskiewicz. 

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About the Contributor
Nadia Norman, Staff Writer
Nadia Norman (‘26) is a sophomore and staff writer at the Blue and Gold. In five years she hopes to be at her dream college studying to get her bachelors degree. Her three favorite things are Target, listening to music, and binging suits (the show).

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