KHQ TODAY

Tossing, Turning, and Thinking

KHS Winterguard athletes prepare for a new season with new regulations and a new mindset.

Senior+Emily+Young+performs+with+the+colorguard+at+an+Friday+football+game.+Photo+credit+to+Lauren+Arnold.

Senior Emily Young performs with the colorguard at an Friday football game. Photo credit to Lauren Arnold.

Kickapoo’s Winterguard season will look unconventional this year due to COVID-19 the recent spike of cases nationwide.

   Winterguard is a choreographed performance art in which performers use rifles, sabers, and flags as props. Within this discipline, precision and energy are vital to emotionally impactful performances.

   This season, however, cohort separation between students has been challenging. Because some rehearsals take place during school hours, not all members can be present for all practices.

   Additionally, their typical style of choreography has required alterations, and their usual outside consultants are unable to support the group this year. The combination of obstacles has altered the overall experience for performers.

   Thankfully, the style of the sport makes social distancing slightly easier.

   “With the equipment work we do, we are used to being farther apart so social distancing hasn’t been too difficult for us”, comments Colorguard sponsor and KHS Social Studies teacher Sherri Peterson.

   Winter Guard senior Benjamin Ralston speaks about the impacts of the new barriers.

   ”It is hard to enjoy something as much as you normally do when you can’t do it to the full extent it’s intended”, Ralston says.

   More than that, he comments that the synergy of the group has been affected. Synergy is the combined efforts of the members amplifying together to produce a greater, collective work. This group result can be better (or worse) than the performance of the individuals.

   Simply, positive synergy is irreplaceable in Colorguard. And because of the limitations in place, the team dynamic has been altered.

   However, according to Peterson, these changes are pushing the students to maintain their momentum now more than ever.

“I think they are excited to be able to do what they love doing, performing – even though it has been different”, Peterson says.

And despite many obstacles, they will be able to do just that. 

   “Both of the winter guard circuits that we compete in have chosen to offer virtual competition seasons”, Peterson says.

   These circuits have been giving their teams the option of whether to register for competitive or non-competitive performances. 

   Practically speaking, this means that the KHS Winter Guard will submit a video performance and will receive scores and feedback.

   “They have been very motivated to excel at the performance opportunities we have had so far this year”, says Peterson.

   The team picks a theme each season; this season’s theme is centralized around thinking. Inspired by a famous bronze sculpture titled The Thinker and crafted by Auguste Rodin, the show will focus on the mind. According to Peterson, the performance will juxtapose classical elements with a modern twist.

   Peterson says, “We are going to use bright, vibrant colors and a collection of different types of musical genres.”

   The purpose of the show is to convey to audiences the power of thinking. This year, that power has been shown. With quarantine and societal unrest came a spiral of unhealthy thought patterns for many individuals. Mental health suffered. But creativity flourished. Books were written and art was inspired based on our shared struggles. The performance highlights thought as the art form of the mind. It also inadvertently speaks to the power of thought during these trying times. 

   Worldwide, people have relearned the value of each moment this year. Because many sports and fine arts groups have experienced problems with meeting regularly, this has made every moment count.

   Peterson says, “We’ve just tried to appreciate the opportunities we get to have together as a team – have fun…and always focus on enjoying the memories we are making”.

   In the end, the focus placed on the hardships we experience is either positive or negative. 

   “We often talk about challenges and obstacles as we prepare for performances…[placing] a focus on being positive-minded, mentally tough, and confident in your preparation.”

   The Winter Guard season this year is unconventional. However, these performers have adapted to the best of their abilities and have continued working hard despite numerous obstacles.

   Peterson says of her students, “They have done a great job, been positive-minded, and acclimated to changes or other obstacles extremely well”. 

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COVID-19 Tensions Rise

As possible vaccines for the deadly virus begin circulation early next week, emotional tensions continue to rise.

With the eagerly anticipated approval of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine by the FDA, tensions regarding Covid-19 are continually spiking nationwide. Among the public, there are widespread fears concerning the effectiveness of the vaccine along with the possible side-effects it may reap.
According to the frequent incoming updates by various newspapers, including CBS News, the FDA approval is coming “rapidly” which would allow people to start receiving the first dose of the vaccine as early as Monday or Tuesday of the incoming week.
However, with new hope on the horizon, the need for vigilance is even more important. Within the last week, rising tensions here have reaffirmed the need for social distancing and masking in large public gatherings.
Over this last weekend and into Monday, local pentecostal congregation James River Church has come under heavy criticism for conducting their annual Christmas services. Although church officials confirmed that temperature checks and various forms of precautions were in place, photos of the event sparked outrage. In these photos, congregants are shown closely seated, many of the maskless. Although some families opted to socially-distance, the church’s negligence has been a highly charged issue.
Local Health Department Director, Clay Goddard, spoke out on the actions of the church. He is quoted in an article by the Springfield News-Leader.
“I can’t see those photos without also thinking of the images we’ve all seen of the impossible circumstances our hospitals are battling every day.”
The anger towards James River Church is merely one instance of the tensions that are rising at continual carelessness in our region. Despite the recent anger directed at church gatherings and sports events, people are continually going to bar and attending small-scale entertainment events, despite the clear risk that it poses.
We find ourselves at the beginning of the end with the near-approval of the Pfizer vaccine. Although it may be easy to fall into reckless behavior with the security of a possible cure quickly approaching, it is so important to remain vigilant.
This is the most deadly season of the pandemic to date. Students nationwide may find it easy to lapse into thoughtless and exposure-risking behaviors because of their ability to fend off the more serious side-effects of the virus. However, young people hold a unique responsibility to ensure that they are not asymptomatically spreading this deadly virus to people who do not have the same level of security health-wise. This responsibility weighs even heavier in what may be the last stretch of this tiresome pandemic and year.

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Softball District Champions

Kickapoo’s Varsity Softball team wins the District 6 Championship for the second consecutive year

Tonight Kickpoo’s Varsity Softball team competed against Carthage at Republic High School. The team, which is comprised of 14 students, won the game with a final score of 3-2. It was a close game according to Senior Mckenna Fink, “It was close but Ellie [Facklam] pitched really well and hit a two-run home run which sent us over the top”. This victory makes them the district champions for two consecutive years.

This week, on October 13th, they played against Nixa, beating them with a final score of 7-5. That win allowed them to move forward in competition to win against Carthage tonight.

This year, district sectionals were cut out of the game timeline due to Covid-19. Therefore the Lady Chiefs will go straight from winning districts to Quarterfinals.

Now they will move on to play at home for the upcoming Quarterfinals against Lee’s Summit West on October 22. If they win that game too, they will continue to the Final Four which will take place on the 29th of October at Killian Sports Complex.

Last year they won districts, but this year in doing so again, they set an expectation for future success in the future. Our Lady Chiefs have performed with talent and strength so far this season, thanks to the hard work of the players and supporting staff and coaches. Wish them luck in Quarterfinals! Go Chiefs!

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