Local winter guard group wins gold

Pictured with their gold medals for winning the 2024 Independent Regional A Championship are Ethos Independent Winter Guard members (front row, from left) Bailey Romine, 13; Kailyn Sullivan, 17; Keirstynne Smith, 15; and coach Kim Lolley, and (back row, from left) coach Eric Zills, Conner Zills, 15; Ryleigh Gallardo, 16; Sydney Spaulding, 15; Braydan Williams, 18; and coach and director Brandon Owens.

By Kathryn “Chazz” Hirschfeld
Staff writer
HAMILTON — The color guard group “Ethos Independent Winter Guard,” based in Hamilton, recently received a gold medal at the Southeastern Color Guard Circuit Championship on Saturday, April 6, in Bowling Green, Ky.
Ethos Independent won the 2024 Independent Regional A Championship with its show performance entitled, “I’m Not Ready.”
Performing members include Sydney Spaulding, Ryleigh Gallardo, Keirstynne Smith, Bailey Romine, Conner Zills, Kailyn Sullivan and Braydan Williams.
This was the group’s first year to participate in the Winter Guard International under the SCGC, which includes more than 100 individual guards in multiple states.
Ethos Independent competed in four competitions during the season running from February to mid-April.
The local guard was founded in 2024 as an Independent Regional A winter guard with WGI and the SCGC by Brandon Owens, Kim Lolley and Eric Zills.
Lolley noted, “We are so proud of the kids for how hard they’ve worked this season and how well they did. Four of them had no previous guard experience at all, so they did phenomenally well.”
She noted Ethos Independent members  range in age from 13 to 18 and grades seventh to seniors.
The local guard welcomes students 22 and under who want to participate in the sport of winter guard. Performers do not have to have previous color guard experience.
To view the gold-medal winning performance, interested persons can visit the group’s social media sites. Their Facebook page is “Ethos Independent Winter Guard.” Their Instagram and TikTok sites are “Ethos_Independent.”
What is winter guard?
Winter guard is the sport of indoor color guard. Modern color guard is a combination of the use of flags, sabers, mock rifles and other equipment, as well as dance and other interpretive movement.
Most color guards can be found in  high schools, middle schools and some universities, but independent organizations exist as well, affiliated more with a geographical location or drum corps, rather than a school system…

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