AV Winter Guard wins Scholastic National A championship


Provided by AV Color Guard

AV Winter Guard won National A Champion in 2023 California color guard circuit.

Jocelyn (Hsin-Chiao) Hsu, Senior Staff Writer

Amador Valley Winter Guard placed first in the 2023 California Color Guard Circuit competition to earn the Scholastic National A championship. The Dons earned their highest score of 87.7 points in the final competition to take home the championship.

“I really enjoyed the WGI competition at Logan. It was pretty tiring because there were two performances in one day. Willingness to put in time outside of practice definitely contributes to our wins. Almost any day you can find people at the guard room practicing which I think demonstrates how much we care about our sport,” said Stella Dormer (‘23), 2022-23 Varsity Winter Guard captain

Amador faced a rare occasion of having a majority of the team composed of freshmen and first-year members. Despite the inexperience, they paid a tremendous amount of effort and bravery in adapting to the new environment. 

“I think their perspective of just having a love and curiosity for the activity prompted them to have a sort of fearlessness that enabled them to get as good as they did in such a short period of time. I am incredibly proud of our younger members and hope they know how much they contributed to our win,” said Danica Howard (‘23), Varsity Winter Guard member.

Even after getting injured, Dormer doesn’t want to disappoint herself or any other member as a captain. With high expectations, the time and effort members put into each piece of the movements in the performance matters. 

“I have the tendency to get injured a lot. It got to the point that we would joke that it wasn’t a real season until I got injured. That said, for most people I think the hardest part of guard can be the time and energy commitment. Especially in varsity, expectations are high, and you don’t want to disappoint yourself, the team or the coaches. But once you learn how to separate your emotions or your nervousness from practice, it gets easier,” said Dormer

Accepting criticism and judgment are key to fixing mistakes and making performance better. Being resilient is important in terms of facing challenges when collaborating as a team.

“You have to understand that all criticism you receive is coming from your instructor because they are trying to draw that full potential out. It doesn’t come from a personal place and should not be taken as such. It can be really frustrating to not nail the physical skills immediately especially when you are surrounded by incredibly talented individuals,” said Howard.

The Color Guard practices are each of the other school days with approximately three hours each. And the rehearsals were held from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. every Saturday. Many freshman members who decided to join a more challenging team in their first attempt believed all the extra work was worth it. 

“The season as a whole had its ups and downs, but I’m honestly overjoyed with how far we were able to grow and bond together. As a winner, it was rewarding to know that all our hard work paid off in the long run. Along with the physical challenges, being emotionally prepared to fail is difficult as you start a new season,” said Emily Gable (‘26).

For the seniors, being able to participate and succeed in their final season gave them one of the most remarkable memories in their high school experience. 

“As a senior this season is a little sad because I know it’s my last. Color Guard has been my home for the past four years and I just have to hope I’m leaving the community better than I found it. I am eternally grateful for my team because they are some of the nicest, goofiest, and all around greatest people I know. Winning championships with them is just an added bonus,” said Dormer.