by Madeline Kempf | Staff Writer
It’s the end of an incredible season for the Johnson Winterguard and the guard has ended on an extremely memorable note. From the bump to Open Class halfway through the season to becoming state Bronze medalists, the guard has paved a path for years to come. This past weekend, the Winterguard finished it off by placing 9th in the Winterguard International World Championships which was hosted in Dayton, Ohio.
“It’s pretty amazing, seeing the experience of all those people, and going out there and just having fun was just quite the adrenaline rush,” junior and first- year guard member Mickayla Campbell said.
At World Championships, the guard had the opportunity to perform three different times; after qualifying in the preliminaries, the guard progressed to semifinals and then advanced to finals.
“In three different arenas, each arena had a different atmosphere. The first one was kinda like ‘Oh, we’re in prelims, you know, it’s not that big of a deal.’ Then, semifinals was an even bigger deal and finals was like this huge deal where a bunch of people came and showed up,” junior Jordan Wyckoff said.
The Johnson Winterguard was not the only group to represent Texas. Other high schools and independent guards from the state showed up to perform and cheer on their fellow Texans.
“Well, they supported us the whole time. It was exciting because we had the support of different teams from our state,” Wyckoff said.
The guard made it all the way through finals and placed 9th in the end. For a third-year school and its first appearance at World Championships, this rank and achievement is virtually unheard of. Lauren Bossaller, Guard Co-Captain, remembered the excitement and anticipation during the Open Class Retreat Awards Ceremony.
“Sarah Jane (Co-Captain) predicted that we’d get 12th or 13th. So, we’re standing there in line and she’s predicting, ‘Were going to get this place… or were going to get this place.’ As other teams got eliminated, it got exciting for us. I was a little disappointed because I went into Dayton thinking, ‘we’re going to get 6th.’ But I’m just happy we made finals,” Bossaller said.
There is a possiblity of going back to Dayton next year, but with the marching band headed towards Grand Nationals in Indianapolis this coming November, finances may be hard to handle.
“Me and Sarah Jane, [we decided that] if they go next year, we might go and watch. I don’t know how we’re going to do that, but we are talking about it,” Bossaller said.
For the guard, this marks the end of its show, “In the Lobby”. But for Bossaller and the other two seniors, it’s the end of their colorguard career.
“Well, right now the season doesn’t feel over. Once I get to Wednesday and I realize there’s no practice after school, it’ll feel over, but it was a pretty good ending. I’m happy it’s over. Starting from nothing and then becoming a finalist in Open Class is just pretty amazing,” she said.