Becton’s Dazzling Winter Guard Taking the Stage By Storm


Ashlee Tancredi

This team full of middle and high school students worked endlessly to pull off their show “Love and Loneliness” and did an amazing job doing so, they even ranked competitively!

The Becton Winter Guard is still a young and fresh club here at Becton. It began three years ago, when former Marching Band director Corey Moore, former Color Guard instructor Lou Ricco, and Senior Madison Knueppel began what today is our school’s Color Guard. The flags and rifles quickly stole the hearts of members of the Marching Band, who desperately wanted to become a part of the family. And so, the Winter Guard was formed. Winter Guard contains the same concept as Color Guard, just without the instruments! It contains the use of rifles, flags, dance, and ribbons to put on their spectacular performance. Besides high school students, the team also includes young members that will soon lead the team, all from East Rutherford Faust Middle School. 

The Winter Guard’s show this year is “Love and Loneliness” with the song Eleanor Rigby by Cody Fry, originally by The Beatles. The storyline is based on an affair that ends with the death of our main character, Eleanor Rigby. The story touches on themes such as love an betrayal. The show involves intense rifle and flag work, but also dramatic dance moves. With this routine, the team will attend four more competitions, but recently had attended their very first one on March 19th! 

Learning how to use a flag and rifle is not easy, but Ashlee Tancredi makes it look like second nature! This is only Tancredi’s first year of coaching, when asked about her experience, she stated “It has been awesome! It has definitely been a challenge since I have never done anything like this before, but everyone has been welcoming!” However, Tancredi is not a new face in the Becton hallway. She graduated from Becton and is the choreographer for the performing arts club. Tancredi dedicates time on Mondays and Wednesdays to the Becton Winter Guard and the team could never express their gratitude for her. It may be her first year, but the team bonded immediately and became family. 

The Becton Winter Guard alongside their amazing coach, Ashlee Trancedi, at one of their practices, every Monday and Wednesday! (Becton Winter Guard)

The team recently began to let middle school students participate in the activity, as the Marching Band has done throughout the years. It increases the team’s numbers and also welcomes the middle schoolers to experience some aspects of High School before they enter it themselves. The middle schoolers enjoy participating in the Winter Guard, as they have seen the flags in motion during the Marching Band season. Although, their all-time favorite aspect of the competitions and practices is their ritual stop at Wawa. It seems to have become a loved tradition. 

One of the beloved captains, Alana Marcial, when asked what her experience has been like, shared, “It feels great, I feel honored to be a leader of the team!” Marcial joined the team her freshman year of high school and immediately blossomed into a color guard prodigy. Marcial runs the team with fellow captain Madison Knueppel, who is a senior and says her farewell this year, “In all honesty, saying goodbye to the team that has been my family for three years has not set in yet. I feel like just yesterday was my first game! I can never fully express what Color Guard has brought to me– the love, the friendships–everything came from my team. I hope the members I am leaving behind get that experience: the feeling of overcoming love and dedication to one another. It is so much more than flags and counts, it is a deep bond I do not, nor will not, ever have words to explain.” 

The Becton Winter Guard may be a brand new and small team, but they definitely know how to keep the party going! They always make sure to make room for laughs and silly poses in between runs of their show! (Ashlee Tancredi)

Flashback to their first competition, the Becton Winter Guard’s performance was anything but ordinary and had placed in a competitive scoring. The team had done fantastic and Becton could not be more proud of them. In their next two competitions, which took place on March 26th and April 2nd, the team only went up in the score and improved each time. As for next season, there have been no giveaways to the hint of next year’s show, but it will be the best of the best from our team! 

The team has been growing in number from three years ago and will continue to do just that in the upcoming seasons. The love and bonds that have grown from this team will forever be in the memories of the members and exhibits how even a small team can make a huge impact. The team’s last competition is April 24, 2022. Becton sends the best and all gracious outcomes to the 2021-2022 Winter Guard and for impending years to come!