A Successful Winterguard Season

Sydney Laidacker, Staff Writer

This is the first time ever that Latrobe has been able to place high in competitions and win them. “The team is have so much success this year,” says Mrs. Pellegrino. “We’re really becoming like the talk of our local circuit which is really cool!  People are starting to recognize this group of students and I would love for them to get some more recognition even within our own school since I know it’s not a group that many people know a lot about and I think more students need to know about the Winter Guard.”

Their first competition they stared off at the bottom of ranks in terms of score.  Then in the middle of the season we perform at WGI the international competition where they placed third. “It was huge that we made such a leap in score and rank!  We have two more competitions this season and I think we can make it to the top,” says Pellegrino.

WGI is Winter guard international and there where teams from all over, there was even a team from Canada there.  At WGI which was at the beginning of March or just two weeks ago there were nine teams and the guard team placed fourth in the prelims that Saturday. “Usually we have time to practice between the preliminary rounds and the finals round, but even though we were a local team we were not able to fit in a practice. Most teams go back to a gym or if they’re from out of the area they would rent a gym and go back after prelims. Usually I would take the feedback from the judges and make changes or anything like that and then come back to perform at finals on Sunday, but the only opportunity that we had is that I watched a video of their performance and took some notes.  Right before we went into warm-ups for finals I gave them my notes verbally and told them what they need to change and fix. They made all of those changes just mentally and applied them to their performance and that’s really what made the difference,” said Pelligero. Their score went up by 2 points against the same teams that were doing the same show and ended up taking third.

Pellegrino said, “With this group this is the first time the WGI thing is a really big deal because it’s an international competition and it was cuz there was a scene from Canada there but what’s really cool is that this is the first time and all of what roads history that the guard made it to final and then play so high the last time that I instructed was five years ago and we went to WGI and I think there were 15 teams that year we might have Place 14th in our preliminaries. We did not make it to the finals so I think it’s awesome that you’re ready because as an instructor, the director and  I took it as an opportunity to build stronger relationships with students but then also you know

The teams practices on  Sundays and Wednesdays from 5 to 8 and that’s been since December . In October and November they held clinic so Mrs. Pellegrino had  professionals from outside of our organization come in and teach them new skills with the equipment work and the dance work.

“It’s called the sports of the arts for a reason.  Is not just about their athletic ability, which they do have, but it’s also about their creative and musicality.  Which I think is really cool, it’s just unlike any other thing that’s out there. Much like those other sports it’s also not just about getting out there and performing each week, it’s a lot deeper than that. We talk a lot about teamwork, responsibility, effort, and your personal character,” says Pellegrino.

Their show this year is called I’ll Carry Your World.  They do a literal translation meaning in their routine they carry globe.The team translates it to showing support for each other.  The whole program has to be designed and created and that’s my responsibility. I’m lucky enough to have some other people like my best friend from high school, she helps me out a lot and then another friend and we met through the guard,” said Pellegrino.

Mrs. Pelligero was a latrobe graduate and she was in winter guard also.  “My guard experience last from my 8th grade to my senior year. I graduated in 2007 then I came back and I started instructing in 2009 to 20010 season.  My last season was the 2014 to 2015 season, because I took five years off since I got married, I got my master’s degree , and I had a baby,” said Pellegrino.   “,but my staff includes Lucy Fearman who is a former graduate of Latrobe and she’s a performer with the top hats Winter Guard I which is an independent group so she’s my assistant director.  Over the years I’ve had some close friends of mine come in and help me here and there, because I design and choreograph everything which is like a big task in itself.

The winter season consists of a total of 7 competitions.  So far they have competed in 5 competitions and they have two left.  WGI was there peak and they keep on going up. The week after WGI they placed first and the week after they placed second. Their championships are on March 30th at Norwin high school and it’s $13 to get in and we perform at sometime in the evening.  The team would love you you came by to show them support!


Jessica Pellegrino



Ethan Apple (Senior)

Jillian Bowman* (Senior)

Emilee Henderson (Senior)

Molly Krug* (Senior)

Sarah Maglosky (Senior)

Isabelle Miller (Senior)

Sarah Zylka (Senior)

Isabel Calabrance (Junior)

Morgan Chen (Junior)

Anna Doeling (Junior)

Renee Myers (Junior)

Tessa Paluzzi (Sophomore)

Mya Favata (Freshman)

Alexandra Lukon (Freshman)

Haley Staschak (Freshman)

Autumn Stemler (Freshman)

Ashlyn Wanichko (Freshman)

* indicates that team captains