Norwin Color Guard fights for success

Bouncing back from Winter Guard International competition in Pittsburgh.


Color Guard at WGI Pittsburgh competition.

Paige Tokay, Writer

The Norwin Color Guard is in the middle of their performance season, and competition is fierce. 

Already the guard has performed in several competitions: the Three Rivers Winter Ensemble Association (TRWEA) preview at Kiski, the TRWEA competitions at Norwin and Penn Trafford, and a Winter Guard International (WGI) regional at Norwin. The season has had its ups and downs, but the guard is proud of their team.

The colorguard is a very close knit environment as we spend at least thirteen hours a week together. We all have to have a lot of trust in each other because of the dangerous nature of the activity. Everyone is very supportive, colorguard is just as difficult mentally as it is physically, so we’re always cheering each other on through practice and performance.

— Grace Junker

“It has overall been great,” said Grace Junker (11). “This group of people are some of the most talented people I’ve spun with, and the colorguard is the closest it’s ever been.  We’ve had bumps along the way but we’ve been able to take them in stride and move forward as a team.”

The team’s uplifting and tight knit environment has been a major strength during the competition season. With every member coming closer together through the season, the Norwin Color Guard is ready for whatever comes their way.

“The environment is usually calm, positive, and fun,” said Aniyah McKnight (11). “The way we work together is by counting our sound track together, listening, and guiding each other. We always help each other no matter the circumstance.”

The season is far from over with the WGI regional in Indiana, TRWEA championships at Norwin, and WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio, and despite the Color Guard’s excellent team work, there is still so much to contend with. At the recent WGI Pittsburgh competition, the Color Guard fought against plenty of obstacles that ended in a somewhat lackluster score.

“What we put on the floor at WGI Pittsburgh wasn’t our best, in part due to challenges posed by our props,” said Junker. “We got second with a score of 73.00. Since then there have been some big changes to ensure we can do better.”

Though they did not take first at WGI Pittsburgh, the color guard is confident that they will only continue to improve as the season progresses and they become more comfortable with their routine.

I see us improving by being calm, not timid, and just being more positive. Also being able to focus on our technical skills will help us improve.

— Aniyah McKnight

“I already see so much improvement in this past week,” said Junker. “We’ve been doing a near complete rewrite of the show due to problems with the original design and the renewed energy of the guard has been extremely uplifting.  We have a lot of work to do to be prepared to compete in Indianapolis, but I can see the excitement over these new changes and I think that we have something really special happening.”