Winter guard gets recognized, gains credibility

In the winter of 2013, Laura Coan and Kristin Kaschalk had a plan to create a winter guard club sport here at OU. 

“Laura Coan, the president, and I started this club in winter 2013 because we both enjoyed it in high school and this is something we wanted to bring with us,” Kaschalk, vice president, said. 

Last year was the team’s first year as a club sport, and at the end of the season, it became the 2015 Michigan Color Guard Circuit (MCGC) Independent A State Champions.  There were seven other teams competing in their division and over 160 there.  The team won the competition during its winter season on March 28, earning the first place trophy. 

Before going on to the MCGC, the team competed in the Winter Guard International (WGI) regional.  The team placed second in the first round on the competition and moved on to the finals, in which they placed third. 

Before becoming the state champions, there were some obstacles the team had to overcome. 

 “It wasn’t necessarily about winning the championship, it was more about being recognized, gaining credibility and improving as a team,” Mary Catherine Moeller, treasurer, said.                                                                

The team has been invited to perform at The Palace of Auburn Hills before tip-off at the Detroit Pistons vs. Cleveland Cavaliers game at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 17. 

After their performance at the Pistons game, their fall season will come to an end and the team will prepare for their first competition of the winter season, which is on Jan. 30. 

There are two seasons for the team, which are the fall and winter seasons. 

“In the fall season, it’s not as competitive but we really just focus on improving our skills and pretty much provide the energy at football club games,” Jeffery Waters, secretary, said. 

The winter seasons are considered to be more competitive based and the team goes out to compete against other winter guard teams. 

Winter guard is similar to color guard – the students who twirl flags with marching bands. Winter Guard is the same thing but there isn’t a band with them. It combines both dancing and equipment, such as flags, in a competitive setting. 

Discounted tickets for the Pistons game are $30 for upper level seating and $65 for lower level seating. 

The deadline to buy tickets is Friday, Oct. 30. In order to receive a 30 percent discount, visit to purchase tickets.

OU Club Sports

  • 27 Club Sports, over 400 members; one of the largest student organization groups on campus

  • According to club sports’ website, each club sport at Oakland University is student run, which allows students to gain leadership and organization management skills that they can use for the rest of their lives.

  • For more information about the different club sports, visit GrizzOrgs or OU’s Campus Recreation center or their blog at