Coffee County Winter Guard climbs to victory at Mt. Juliet.


Jacob Breed

Second place is no secondary substitute as a first success!

Garrett Masters, Arts and Entertainment Editor

To those in the know, beware: winter is coming. 

On January 22nd, the Coffee County Winter Guard entered their first competition of the 2022 Winter Season.

Hosted at Mt. Juliet High School, the Lady Raiders Competed amongst 9 guards for their first performance, as well as with college and adult level dancers. 

Coached by instructors Jacob Breed and Daniel Percell, whose experience and prowess lend them an edge of qualification, this year’s theme is “Time Is Of The Essence.” 

The first competition for any sport can be a bit shaky for any athlete, veteran or novice alike. Stepping into a new season after months of non-stop training can be a bridge that any athlete or performer must cross in order to break into the threshold of the season. 

‘The first competition is always scary,” says freshman Mallory Miller, “But it’s still super fun. I’m always super excited.” When asked about the experience she has had so far this season, Mallory stated how through Winter-guard “you learn alot about those around you. I honestly love and care about everyone who is in Guard and those who help with it”

Split up into three blocks, broken into five divisions over many many grueling hours, Winter Guard is a sport all about patience and endurance.To compete is like trying to tackle a marathon rather than a straight sprint to the finish line. It takes time.

Through this, the experience is well worth the sweat and tears. “The first guard competition was a totally unforgettable experience,” says Senior Bethany Farrar. 

With saber, flag, and rifle in hand, the mats were set. The props on display. And the guards  were ready. With the timer racing and the judges reviewing their every move, the anticipation was growing, like a tigress about to pounce on its prey. When reflecting on this, freshman Linda Ferrell had to overcome the fear in front of her. “Once we actually performed in front of everyone, my nerves calmed down. And I felt fine because I knew I did the best I could.”

“Personally, I feel Saturday went very well for the Coffee County Winter Guard, especially for their first competition of the season,” says Coach Breed. “Currently we do not have our show finished for this season, but with the hard work and dedication these kids have put in so far they have set themselves up for success.”

And succeed, they did. Within their division, the Guard landed Second Place! By landing within the top three of their category, the Guard not only set themselves up for great things, but also places a yoke of expectation for future competitions. 

“I know,” says Farrar, “that if we can place second with a show with only a little over a minute of the choreography done, then we can grow over the next few months of the remaining season and hopefully keep placing in the top.”

“I fully believe this group of students have the ability to achieve greatness,” said Breed, reflecting on Saturday. “If we continue to put in the time and work to ensure a successful season, these students could easily maintain our title as Tennessee State Champions if we continue to push and work our hardest.”

This season is off to a promising start for the Guards of Coffee County! As they wave their banners high, fanning the sky, their goals of victory are not gonna so easily fly by.