Mary Hager

Junior Mary Hager runs through the winter guard's routine at Brentwood High School two days before the championships near Springfield, Missouri. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

The Brentwood High School Winter Guard took fifth place among 12 schools in the Mid-Continent Color Guard Association (MCCGA) Championships on Saturday near Springfield, Missouri.

Stephanie Surgener

Senior Stephanie Surgener raises her hat during a winter guard rehearsal in the BHS gym over spring break. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Make that 12 mostly BIG schools. BHS was one of the smallest schools, by far, in its Regional A division, which comprised schools from Missouri, Illinois and Kansas. So though they finished in the middle of the pack, they still beat giants such as Hazelwood Central and Parkway South.

Brentwood began this past winter guard season in the Regional B division, where it took second place in the MCCGA championships in 2009 and 2010. They were promoted to the more competitive Regional A in February.

The BHS Winter Guard has seven members: seniors Samantha Short and Stephanie Surgener and juniors Samantha Gales, Mary Hager, Amy Lee, Alice Richter and Alaina Youngstrom. All but Gales and Richter were on last year’s team.

“They’ve been successful because they work hard and are good kids,” said Kate Anthony, the group’s director for the past three years. “They just want to do what I want them to do. Every year we start where we ended the year before.”

This year they performed to the song “Haven’t Met You Yet” by Michael BublĂ©.

Though Brentwood never had a winter guard before Anthony started leading the first group three years ago, she certainly brought some experience. She has coached color guard groups at Missouri State University (her alma mater) and at the following Missouri high schools: Willard, Bolivar, St. Charles West and Francis Howell Central.

Following are team scores from the Regional A division of the 2011 MCCGA Color Guard Championships on March 26 at Willard (MO) High School:

Monett (MO), 87.2 points

Lafayette (Ballwin), 87.2

Holt (Wentzville), 84.3

Washington, 82.0

Brentwood, 81.8

Hazelwood Central, 80.2

Granite City, 78.7

Mattoon (IL), 76.6

Parkway South, 76.5

Shawnee Mission South (KS), 73.2

Bolivar, 62.5

Branson, 61.0

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Samantha Short

Senior Samantha Short is one of five returnees from last year's winter guard. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Alaina Youngstrom

Alaina Youngstrom is one of five juniors on the BHS Winter Guard, and one of five returnees from last year's group. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Alice Richter

Junior Alice Richter is in her first year with the BHS Winter Guard. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Amy Lee

Amy Lee, a junior, shows some of the stage presence that has helped Brentwood beat much bigger schools in winter guard competitions. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Kate Anthony

BHS Winter Guard director Kate Anthony demonstrates a move during a day-long practice she held at the high school on March 24. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Samantha Gales

Junior Samantha Gales discusses the winter guard's routine with director Kate Anthony at the high school two days before the championships. (Photo by Steve Bowman)