Campus Celebrity: SHU Winterguard

Campus Celebrity:  SHU Winterguard

You may be used to seeing these ladies at halftime on the football field, but when football season ends, the SHU color guard takes on a whole new role. Winterguard is a completely different ball game. Similar to fall color guard, this winter sport features the usual equipment, spun by a team of hard working women. Flags, rifles, and sabres soar through the air during a run through - but the team trades in the turf field and yard lines for a specially designed floor and a pineapple, during their winter season.


This year’s program was titled “The Love That I Have” and featured the musical styling of Christina Aguilera. The song is from her feature film, Burlesque, and is titled "Bound to You." It is from this song that the inspiration for the other equipment element was derived - the team members spun ropes which added another level to an amazing performance. 



The winter season for the guard begins in October. The team has the longest season of any team on campus. Over Columbus Day weekend, they were on campus working hard at their first practice of the season. And after 6 months of hard work they were well into competition season, and ready to play at the biggest event for their sport.

The SHU Winterguard competes in two different circuits, one in state and one regionally and internationally. Locally, they compete in the Musical Arts Conference (MAC), in a division against Central Connecticut State University, as well as the University of Connecticut. However, their main competition circuit is called Winter Guard International or WGI, who’s tagline is ’The Sport of the Arts'. They compete regionally in New Jersey for WGI, and this April they went to World Championships in Dayton, Ohio where they represented the university on an international platform. 


On April 2nd the SHU Winterguard placed 1st in the Musical Arts Conference Championships, scoring 11 points higher than UCONN and CCSU. Then April 6, the team boarded the Pioneer bus and headed to World Champs in Dayton. The next day, the SHU Winterguard competed in the preliminary round of WGI Finals, and qualified for the semi final round on April 8th. One of the most humbling elements of this sport is that it is a privilege to keep competing. It is a blood, sweat, and tears fight to qualify to make it to the next round and to perform with your teammates for the judges one more time. It doesn’t matter what school you represent or where you are from, the judges care about how well you spin alongside your team when its time for your 4 minutes on the floor. After an incredible semi finals performance, the SHU guard was honored with the ability to compete in the Finals round on April 9th. Only the top 20 teams in the world qualify for the honor of being world finalists and the SHU Winterguard was humbled with that opportunity. 


After leaving their hearts and the love that they have for each other on the competition floor in finals, the SHU Winterguard finished out their season and their World Championships run at 15th in the world. They beat 58 other guards at worlds, including the winter guards from Clemson, the University of Virginia, James Madison University, the University of Louisville, Purdue University, Towson University, Penn State, Sandiego State University, and multitudes of winter guards not associated with other universities. This ranking is an incredible accomplishment from this talented group of individuals. 



The SHU Winterguard is grateful for the support from the university community this season and are excited to prepare for their next show and their next bid at World Championships!