South East High School

Winter Guard captain spins her last year

FALLING FOR YOU—Winter Guard will compete at Valencia High School March 3 and perform “Fall for you” by Leela James.

The thought of throwing a flag in the air and possibly getting hit in the face is scary, but risk comes with a beautiful show. Winter Guard began recently and the captain, Heymi Gutierrez, a senior in the Tech & Media magnet, wants her last year on the team to be the best for her team yet.

“My goal is, of course, to be the best captain I [can] ever be [for] the [underclassmen].  If they have a good leader, they will become good spinners,” said Gutierrez.

No one’s born an expert. Gutierrez started Winter Guard not knowing the basics. She was inspired in her freshman year to improve by her former captain.

“When I came, I didn’t know what it was like.  I just didn’t know anything about it.  My first captain taught me everything she knew, and she made sure that I got into [winter guard], and I eventually started and became better and better as time passed,” said Gutierrez.

With the team spending time together, they grew close; Gutierrez thinks of the team as a family.  “[The Winter Guard experience is] very heart warming, because if you have a personal problem, you can release the stress with your friends.  You get distracted, and it’s just really nice to be part of a team that actually cares about you and not all about the competition,” said Gutierrez.  

As captain, she tries her best to meet the whole team’s needs.  Gutierrez gives it her all, but always seeks ways to improve.  She plans to improve by making time to help her teammates; she wants to be the one the team goes to for help.

“I plan on working hard with them and always making sure they know what they have to do, and, if they need help, I’ll always be there to help them. If I have to stay more hours than what I already stay, I would just to help them. I’m always going to be the person they can go to for help,” said Gutierrez.

The amount of skill Winter Guard demands one to learn can be intimidating to those who are considering joining. No experience is required because the coach covers everything.  Practice for Winter Guard is Monday through Friday from 2:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“[My advice is] to not be scared. I know it’s scary, with the image of a flag up in the air and you having to catch it.  Yes, it’s scary when something comes towards your face, but it’s a really great experience.  If you hesitate on [whether to] join or not, I think you should automatically just go for it,” said Gutierrez.


by Janice Chavez