Johnstown squad 4th in U.S.

Johnstown team’s routine reminds us that “everybody dies, but not everybody lives, so reach for your dreams.” (Photo submitted)

JOHNSTOWN — Johnstown High School’s winter guard team is now ranked fourth nationally out of 123 schools, team Director Christine VanValkenburgh announced this week.

The 17-member varsity team, Amethyst Gold, took first place in preliminaries at the Winter Guard International’s Eastern States Regional Championships at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., last weekend, while finishing second overall.

VanValkenburgh said her team currently has the highest equipment score in the country and is now ranked fourth nationally in the Scholastic A class out of 123 Scholastic A Teams.

Both the Greater Johnstown School District’s varsity and junior varsity teams will compete in the 2017 New York State Mid-York Color Guard Circuit Championships April 1 at Shenendehowa High School East.

VanValkenburgh said the varsity team will then advance to WGI’s World Championships at the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio April 5-9.

Winter guard is a synchronized sport of indoor color guard. Modern winter guard is a combination of dance, mock rifles, sabers, props and flags and other equipment. Winter guard is derived from military ceremonies or veterans organizations’ ceremonies. Unlike traditional color guard, winter guard is performed indoors, usually in a gymnasium or an indoor arena. Performances make use of recorded music rather than a live band or orchestra.

VanValkenburgh said Amethyst Gold’s “powerful and inspiring” 2017 show, titled “Summit,” reminds us that “everybody dies but not everybody lives, so reach for your dreams.”

She said the team’s show was designed by Atlanta native Brian Gidden, now of New Jersey.

She said crowds this season are loving the show, which incorporates video.

By Chad Fleck

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