PHANTOM REGIMENT OF ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS OVERCOMES POWERFUL
HOLLY HAWKS, QUASAR AND OTHER STRONG CONTENDERS FOR THE
by Andrew Uzarins, Managing Editor
The Second annual Winter Guard International Olympics could have been anticipated to
be a competition beyond compare, judging from the way the top color guards had been
clobbering each other through the season. Also, it could be anticipated that this would be
another wonderful spectacle as had been the case with the initial Olympics that were held
in the Chicago area last year. As matters turned out, what everyone saw and enjoyed on
March 31 and April 1 in Oregon and Madison, Wisconsin, exceeded everyone's
expectations and wildest dreams.
Newcomers and first-timers swore up and down that they would never again miss a color
guard competition with their reach. Old timers and fans could be heard moaning in agony
as one after another of the preliminary competitors was knocked out from the ranks of the
finalists. Every guard was so outstanding in quality as well as in entertainment that
everybody hoped to be able to see each in action again during finals; but there were thirty-
two guards in contention and only fifteen of them would make it to the competition floor
of Dane County Coliseum for the finals.
Even regular fans of color guard could not believe how much beauty, variety, innovation
and pure entertainment had developed within this activity in such a short time, the two
years since WGI was started. When all the top units came together under one roof, the
effect was simply breathtaking.
The unexpected relocation of the prelims to a smaller facility at first looked like an
adversity and the place was packed to the rafters, indeed, but this sardine can proximity
between the guards and the spectators somehow produced special enthusiasm in both and
everyone dreaded when the final moment would come for that day's competition,
approximately a nine-hour marathon with a few brief intermissions.
As grand as the competition in the prelims were the facilities for the finals that were
provided by Dane County Coliseum. While its vastness and seating capacity, and the size
of the floor, tended to swallow up the audience as much as the competing finalists, it was
nevertheless a pleasure to see color guards competing in this prestigious location rather
than struggling in the type of animal pit that was the site of the annual championship
competition only some three years ago...
...Unfortunately, words and pictures simply cannot measure up to the excellence which
was displayed at this year's Olympics, because the excellence that was on display simply
defies every description.
REVIEW OF WGI OLYMPICS FINALS COMPETITORS AND THEIR
PERFORMANCES IN MADISON, WISCONSIN, ON APRIL 1
by M. J. Harry Heidelmark, DCN Staff
Leading off the WGI Olympic finals on April 1 in Madison, WI, were WI Racine Kilts -
14th 82.633 (0.2). Their show has several nice mood changes and uses hand and body
motions well. Their ending is highlighted by turning a company front with a floating center
which moves down the line.
IL Chicago Golden Knights - 15th 81.733 (0.5) - got off to a slow beginning using twiling
sticks which have become popular in the Midwest. Superman, the man of steel, himself
makes an appearance at the end of the guard's tribute to him. Several key drops hurt the
continuity of the show.
IL Park Ridge Cavaliers - 12th 85.922 (0.5) - put together a fine well moving program for
finals. The all-male unit generated a lot of excitement from the crowd.
NY Rushville Marcus Whitman - 13th 85.667 (0.6) - appeared to have improved in
performance from the prelims on Saturday. The guard uses sabres as do most of the
Eastern guards. The show is always at either double time or half time, but never at a
steady normal cadence.
The larget facility added to the show of WI Madison State Street Review - 10th 86.300
(1.3). Even though it may look like the hobo color guard, it really looked well from
While during prelims the guard looked like a bunch of nuts running around the floor, when
the show was viewed from a higher vantage one could actually see fine patterns emerging.
NY North Syracuse Northmen - 8th 98.00 (0.1) - opened yo "Applause applause," with a
show that has a lot of well-executed weapons work. Their captain, as well as all the girls
in the guard, display a great deal of pride, poise and sex appeal. In such a large building
thier show suffers somewhat without the eye contact.
AL Birmingham Chapter V - 11th 86.200 (0.5) - was not up to par in the finals. This is
another unit which looks much better in a smaller gymnasium. The guard used different
soloists to help sell the show. In case any of you guys were thinking of trying to meet their
captain, Susan Godfrey, I hate to tell you, but she's married to the guard's
director/instructor, Frank Godfrey.
CT Bridgeport Skylarks - 7th 98.900 (0.3) - put on a much improved performance and I
had really expected them to move up in the final standings. Although the music
disappeared halfway through their performance, Skylarks continued on. When the sound
was restored, they were right in step with the music.
The subtleness of MA Everett St. Anthony's Imperials - 5th 91.067 (0.3) - so almost
spooky. One could only wonder what may come next year. From catching tosses with no
hands to catching in their teeth, or possibly twirling with no hands, this was definately a
good night for the guard.
WA Seattle Imperials - 4th 91.267 (0.4) - moved from their opener, "Slaughter On Tenth
Avenue," into Hamp's "Boogie Woogie" nicely. However, I feel that they could do a little
more with the equipment and a little less ballet.
IL Schaumburg Guardsmen - 6th 90.467 (0.0) - came high stepping and with nice
equipment work. Some well done visual work at the end combined nicely for a good
MA Stoneham St. Patrick's Shamrocks - 9th 88.667 (0.7) - were another guard which
could not match it's performance in the perlims. The orange and yellow in their flags
contrats nicely with their green and white uniforms.
NY Holly Hawks - 2nd 94.500 (0.0) - out on a well-exicuted and well-balanced
performance. The all-rifle finale shows good use of weapons; but with so many behind the
back catches, eight to be exact, things seemed to be a bit repetitious.
IL Rockfor Phantom Regiment - 1st 95.100 (0.1) - after an audio failure this guard left the
auditorium to regroup and try again. As you are taken on a tour of their museum, you
meet the Russian, the Comedian, and the Phantom of the Opera. The show winds to a
close with guide turning out the light, closing the door and escourting the guard off the
MA Revere Quasar - 3rd 94.167 (0.5) - has to be one of the classiest units ever seen. I
totally enjoyed their show, but thought they, too, had done better in prelims. The smoke
didn't seem to work well enough to get the necessary effect. The color at the end looked
so magnificent from the stands that it was just unbelievable.
Party after the show with "Quasar". Gentleman in the lower right is the well known Michael Boo.