DGN Winter guard promoted to higher competition class


Jill Stocki

LOOKING UP: Winter guard team members throw double blade tosses during routine.

Molly St Clair, Feature Editor

After almost 10 years of preparation, the DGN winter guard moved up a division just in time for the 2022 competition season. 

Led by head director Crystal Zaragoza and assistant coach Kate Garcia, the team’s hard work is what led to this level up in division class. 

“We’ve been trying to train more people in more things and not just having a select few people who are skilled at certain parts. Really just trying to get the whole group to that higher level,” Zaragoza said. 

After the Guard’s first place finish and a score of 56.49 in the ‘Steperettes’ contest, the team received news that they would be competing in the next level of divisions at their next competition. 

Senior and co-captain of the guard teams, Akshi Mistry has been a part of DGN guard for four years and believes that the team is well-prepared for the move up. 

“Since freshman year we’ve been on a winning streak of placing top three at every competition and this [win] was a huge sign to us that we were ready,” Mistry said.  

The DGN winter guard teams have been competing in the Scholastic Regional A division for the past 10 years. These competition divisions range from SRA to World Class; the DGN Winterguard has now moved up to the “AA class.” This step up means that they will be judged on a more critical scale overall. Not only are they now facing more difficult competition, but a harder score sheet means it will be more demanding to get those top place finishes in competition. 

Junior Clara Lerch has been a part of the guard teams at DGN since her freshman year. She is excited, but nervous for what this move to double A means for the future of the team’s success. 

“More effort needs to be put in at practice and harder choreography is gonna be given. We’re cleaning the routines a lot more through practice so it’s a really precise show but I’m expecting our scores will take a dip from where they were before,” Lerch said. 

The stakes for both color guard and winter guard teams are now high due to the team now competing at the “AA Class” level. As a first year member of the guard teams, sophomore Josh Ronquillo anticipates this to affect upcoming years. 

“Auditions will definitely become more competitive in the future for incoming members,” Ronquillo said. 

The next step for the team is the WGI competition. There, the DGN winter guard will be competing against elite teams from all over the state. The competition at WGI will be an indicator of the level that the guard will be competing against in upcoming performances.