APW Winter Guard finish season undefeated

The Altmar-Parish-Williamstown (APW) Winter Guard finished this year’s season with quite a showing.

<p>Members of the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown (APW) Winter Guard finished this year’s season undefeated in the Mid-York Color Guard Circuit (M-YCGC), and were named the SA3 class champions at the championship competition on April 1st. Pictured above in front, left to right are: Angell Cutler, Jenna Cramer, Morgan Sobotka, and Amber Spoon. Middle row, left to right are: Samantha Giammella, Cassie Bush and Elise Booth. Back row, left to right are: Erica Spencer, Toni Bush, Briann Bristol, Taylor Fletcher, and Hope Rayder.</p>

Undefeated in the Mid-York Color Guard Circuit (M-YCGC), the team competed in the SA3 class championship competition at East Syracuse-Minoa (ESM) on April 1 where they were presented with the gold medal.

In addition to winning the championship gold medal, the APW Guard was the sole squad selected for the Robert Morse Memorial Award. The M-YCGC Robert Morse Memorial Award is presented in memory of Robert Morse, former judge and instructor in New York State pageantry arts for nearly three decades.

The award is voted on by the guard directors and is given to the group that has shown the most growth in the competitive season, not only in points but in performance skills and competitive spirit.

It was also a special day for Jim Youker, who was inducted into the Mid-York Color Guard Circuit Hall of Fame.

Youker has a long-standing history with the APW Winter Guard dating back to 1971 when he founded the APW Winter Guard program as well as the summer Color Guard program.

<p>APW Winter Guard has a long history tied to Mr. Jim Youker, second from left, who founded the guard programs at APW in 1971, and was honored with induction into the Mid-York Color Guard Circuit Hall of Fame. Current guard director, Danielle Britton, right, marched for Youker, as did assistant-director Lynn Booth, left. Booth’s daughter, Elise, second from right, is a current member of the APW guard. </p>

He continued as director of both programs until 1991, when Alicia Pizzuto took over as director, but he continued to be involved in other aspects of the guard and still continues to mentor the program in his retirement.

His involvement has spanned thirty plus years and he has served on the M-YCGC Board of Directors, and the New York State Federation of Contest Judges, and has also judged for the New York State Field Band Association.

The APW guard, under the direction of Danielle Britton, and assistant director Lynn Booth, consists of 12 members from the high school and middle school and range from 7th grade to seniors.

The team members include: Captains Morgan Sobotka and Jenna Cramer, Angell Cutler, Erica Spencer, Taylor Fletcher, Hope Rayder, Samantha Giammella, Cassie Bush, Briann Bristol, Elise Booth, Toni Bush, and Amber Spoon.