There is a world unknown to many Slicers who walk the halls everyday, but it is a world that has helped put the Slicer name on the map. It is the world of Winter Guard, but few outside the program actually know what goes on during a competition day.
9:00 a.m. CST: The dim halls of La Porte High School are empty and silent for a Sunday morning. The first of the 18 Winterguard members arrive, ready for their 9:30 a.m. rehearsal, knowing the phrase, “Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable.”
9:30 a.m.: In the small gym, captains Anna Nelson, Chloe Cloutier, and Kayla Kelpsh lead warm up stretches. After stretches, the Guard warms up on equipment, either flag or rifle. Only having a short amount of time before the bus arrives, the Guard begins to go through and clean “rough patches” of show work.
10:45 a.m.: The Guard gathers up equipment and personal belongings and loads onto the bus, getting handed a boxed lunch for the two hour ride to Naperville North High School.
12:30 p.m.: After arriving at NNHS, the Guard begins to sign in and take their stuff to their assigned locker rooms. They then begin to spend the next hour or so finishing makeup and getting dressed into their costumes, and when done, the Guard walks to warm-ups.
3:15 p.m.: The La Porte High School Winterguard, with help of the various moms and dads in prop crew, set the mat and perform their five minute show.
3:30 p.m.: After their performance, the Guard refolds the tarp and meets with their instructor to discuss how the show went. They then get dressed and put away their costumes and soon afterward, the Guard members walk to the bleachers and sit down, waiting anxiously for awards.
4:30 p.m.: The announcer starts introducing the different Guards, lining the captains from each by the class that they competed in onto the mat. After raffle tickets for drawings are pulled, the placing for each class are announced.
“In Scholastic Open class, first place with a score of 67.1 is,” as the announcer reads this sentence, the La Porte Winterguard can silently be seen watching. Some are holding hands, and many are praying in their heads.
“… La Porte High School Winterguard,” the announcer proclaims.
5:30 p.m.: After getting all of their stuff together, the Guard walks out of the school and onto the bus, ready for the long drive home.
7:15 p.m.: The bus pulls into the high school parking lot and the Guard unloads their equipment and takes it to the guard room. While some go home and some go out for a celebratory dinner, all of them prepare and look forward to the long week ahead of them, knowing that the first competition brought home a win.