Winter Guard lobbies for indoor practice space

The CVHS Winter Guard has been consistently ranking high in competitions, even among groups with far more training and experience. The Winter Guard consists of a flag, saber, and rifle line, and the team members have set high expectations for themselves, hoping to continue to score higher. However, unfortunate training conditions have proven to be a roadblock in their progress.

The team does not have access to a gym or any other training facility, which forces participants to practice in the quad or on the baseball field. With those already undesirable setbacks, participants believe winter cold and rain contribute to injuries.

“Many of the injuries have made it hard for members to be ready to perform,” stated Marissa Salvato, the Winter Guard captain. “Many of our members have dance work that involves rolling and being on the ground. They have many bruises all over their knees and legs and it makes them unable to reach their full potential.”

Even on rainy days, when the cafeteria doors are opened to them, the team has trouble with practicing, as the building is now far too small to support their growing numbers and complicated choreography.

Huijun Huang, another Winter Guard member, expressed a desire for better communication. “I personally think that the school should have a system for gym use to simply notify us the availability of the facilities. It would be wonderful for us to use the gym when it is not being used by other sports,” she said.

In response, the school is doing everything it can to help, but the recent construction prevents many other activities from taking place, and the school lacks the facilities to provide indoor space. The basketball teams end up taking priority in the gym because those are the only places with nets.

“We empathize with the guard, and wish we had a facility to support everyone who wanted to practice every day,” stated Activities Director Michael Kentris. “With all the construction going on, it is impacting every group on this campus. It is displacing all different types of groups.”

The CVHS Winter Guard has earned an honorable name in the sport, able to keep pace with the veteran teams in just its second year. Participants continue to hope that they will get access to indoor practice space that would allow them to excel to even greater heights.

6 thoughts on “Winter Guard lobbies for indoor practice space

  • February 13, 2018 at 9:52 pm

    I am in Winter Guard, and I am glad that this article brings attention to the issue of having a facility. It is incredibly difficult for us as a guard to have sustained growth without proper treatment and attention from administration and faculty members. We need an indoor facility such as a gym or any building with a large enough volume in order to properly practice our drills and work. Working in the quad and the cafeteria is unsustainable for a growing guard like Castro Valley’s, and we need more space in order to support our new members and growing use of space for drills. Many injuries have occurred already this season due to us having to practice drill in cramped areas, and this negatively affects our performance quality. In addition, it is incredibly disruptive to the school environment for us to use the quad considering that people still need to cross the quad in order to move around school, and our use of space interferes with this. Most, if not all, our competitions are held indoors, and applying work that we have learned outdoors to an indoor environment with different space parameters is a difficult shift that serves as a huge inconvenience for us as a team. For these reasons, we hope that administration will listen to our requests and provide us with a suitable space to practice in and that the school community continues to support the endeavors of the guard team.

  • February 13, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    I’m one of the captains of this season’s Winter Guard and I would like to, first of all, show my appreciation of this article. It’s informative of the situation and highlights our struggles as a new program. In all honesty, I cannot believe how far we’ve gotten in two years and the expansion of the group is exciting yet scary. That’s why I would also like to address some misunderstandings about it. We are under the music program and not categorized as “sports” so the music program’s priorities are different and consequently do not get the same privliges that sports do – which to begin with is not much because they still have to go through the same ropes we do, but to a lesser extent. Not many people understand how difficult it is to get facilities and it’s not just a matter of planning ahead, but rather talking to the people in charge and forming a queue. Besides, saying that we should plan ahead for the weather may sound reasonable, but the fact of the matter is that weather is unpredictable; saying that we should have taken it into account is like saying we should have brought an umbrella to a sunny day just in case. That’s why with the safety of a facility we have the security of no cancelled practices due to weather. Winter Guard is very near and dear to my heart and I would like to see it grow into something that CVHS can be proud of, that’s why I ask from the bottom of my heart, that people understand and support us in the subject of facilities.

  • February 13, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    My sister is in Winter guard, she works very hard and I see her practicing so much, it’s a shame that they’ve been neglected, or not considered as serious. They work hard too, and they deserve a facility to practice in just as much as basketball, or cheer, or any other sport. It’s unacceptable that they’ve had to practice in the parking lot a couple of times due to lack of facility. I hope this brings publicity to their issue and drives the staff and administrators to take action.

  • February 13, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Their name is Winter guard, they know that they’re going to have the issue of rain so they should’ve thought about this ahead of time. Plus if practicing inside isn’t the same as working outside then why bother moving? It’s not even going to rain much more plus it’s only rained once or twice this winter. Why is rain even an issue?

  • February 13, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    I believe this article brings up a valid point. Many after school activities could be improved by a more efficient system of reserving indoor locations- POPS choir groups have also run into some difficulties when trying to reserve rehearsal space after school. Great job on this article!

  • February 13, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    I’m glad that winter guard is finally being recognized by other students. In the past, guard has had no official location to practice so many injuries are due to the bright sun, windy days, and concrete floors.

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