Lancer Spotlight 3/26/23: Linganore winter guard performance makes math beautiful


Melonie Deblock

The Linganore color guard team celebrates after winning 3rd place.

by Mateo Peyton-Deblock, Reporter

The Linganore color guard is a winter sports team that plays from November all the way to April.

Color guard (or winter guard) is an artistic performing sport. It involves spinning and controlling flags, wooden rifles and Sabre during choreographed dances while spinning. Color guard performs to music with flags and uniforms that match the theme of the show. Facial expressions are also an important component during shows, as they are used to express emotions. 

On March 24, on competition day, the winter guard team worked from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. rehearsing choreography for the show over and over again to get it to perfection.

The team then traveled to their rival school, Urbana High School, at approximately 5:00 to warm up prior to their performance.

The team completed body warm ups with equipment and focused on certain parts of their show that received comments from judges in previous performances. The Urbana show was seen as a forehsadowing of what the rest of the season will be like for the team.

During their performance, the team has eight minutes to set up the floor, place their equipment and take their places. From the bleachers, audience members can see the team making a question mark. The guard performs to the musical piece “Experience” by Ludovico Einaudi.

The music started out slow as the Sabre feature starts the show. Five members of the guard use ballet moves to move their bodies across the floor. As music tempo increases, the flag line comes in. Their flags are warm colors with math problems written all over. By the end of the first half, the Sabre feature tosses a triple and then leads into the rifle line. Rifle A completes more advanced tricks for the show, while Rifle B do more group work.

The whole team comes together to perform an in-sync feature facing the crowd. For the final part of the show, the team performs a group flag routine. The flags are designed like a blackboard with rainbow trim and math equations written in chalk.  At the very end of the routine, the team poses and reaches their hands out to a white board prop that states, “The answer is…?”

The Linganore winterguard performance contained equipment drops and mistakes, but the joy of completing another show brought the team excitement. Afterward, team members run and hug each other and discuss the pros and cons of the show.

At the end of the night, the three seniors, Elaine Escamilla, Hannah Plyer and Eddy Proper, walk to the gym floor and stand next to the other guards who preformed to wait for their scores and final places to be called.

The Linganore team earned a score of 63.94 and placed third. While a bittersweet moment, since the team essentially took last place out of the three teams performing, the team was very happy their score increased from the last performance.

There are different ranks when color guards perform and compete. In the 2023 season, Linganore’s color guard peformed as a blue class for the Winter Guard Inter National (WGI) competition. 

Linganore guard is run by Evan Christoper Lambert and Esperanza Gomez. Lambert is a Linganore alumni and was a part of the Linganore outdoor and indoor guard.  

The show this year was called “The Answer Is.” The show is about someone trying to find the answer to a problem and the trials they undergo.

The show has a visual theme of math: the uniforms have math equations on the side, the members write different problems on the floor and the performance includes a white board on which one of the members writes down different equations. 

For Linganore senior and guard captain Hannah Plyler, this show means a lot.

“Although the show is centered around math and doing homework and getting upset, I see it as more than homework and an overall theme of … having questions about yourself or the world and … trying to find the answer to those [questions],” Plyler said. “[H]igh school is more than just trying to answer homework or test questions; it’s about trying to figure out where you fit in with the world.”

Plyler shared her hardest struggle as a team captain.

“My hardest struggle is trying to be bossy enough but not a dictator,” Plyler said. “I try to be someone who has authority but who is also clearly 18 and not look at myself as someone who is … superior.”

This is Plyler’s last year as the Linganore High School color guard captain, and she is proud of the team and what she has accomplished. She reported that she never stopped trying her best for the team or herself. 

The Linganore High School Guard team has 14 members who put their very best into their show. Even when the tri-weekly, three-hour practices wear them out. The team has had their struggles, but each practice they work harder, preparing for their next competition and upcoming finals. 

Even new members who had never picked up a flag before November have greatly improved, from learning drop-spins to becoming some of the best members of the team.  As the 2023 season comes to an end, the show this year has meant something for every single one of the guard members.