Winterguard teams from Nation Ford and Fort Mill high schools are winding down successful seasons - but they're not done yet.
Both teams are scheduled to compete in the CWEA Championships at Winthrop Coliseum Saturday, March 28. Before then, the Yellow Jackets and Falcons have other competitions on the schedule and going on recent results, both teams should be in the running for top awards.
Nation Ford placed third at Northwestern High School in Rock Hill recently. Fort Mill's team came in sixth place March 7 after going against teams from across the Southeast.
"We did well and continue to improve," Fort Mill instructor Phil Rainer said.
Winterguard combines elements of dance and precision drill; participants are called on to execute a number of athletic moves and use props such as wooden rifles and flags. Although some may consider winterguard a performance art, it's an accepted sport with worldwide participation.
Similar to color guard, winterguard routines are set to music, although it's recorded as opposed to performing with a marching band.
"The theme of the Fort Mill Winterguard this year is Elton John's famous 'Rocket Man' performed by Angie Aparo," Rainer said.
Nation Ford's Winterguard is performing a show entitled "Angel " by David Archuleta.
"The floor design is a stunning group of clouds with sun rays bursting out painted and designed by Judy Gibbs of Charlotte," said instructor Jeff Cobbs. "I am looking forward to the future competitions this season."
Last year, because Nation Ford was brand new and didn't have a senior class, students there performed with Fort Mill's team. This year, Nation Ford is on its own - and is holding its own against the big schools.
"I was extremely happy to be placed in the top Scholastic 'A' Class since this is the first year that we are competing by ourselves," Cobbs said.
"They definitely are improving."
Both teams will be competing Saturday. Fort Mill will be at Byrnes High School in Duncan and Nation Ford will compete at Forestview High School in Gastonia, N.C.
Fort Mill will finish its season at the WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, April 1-5.
We could compete with guards from anywhere in the world," Rainer said.
"It is a good competition in Dayton."