By Nathan Sites
They put their instruments down and pull their flags up. They look at the crowd, and then each other. They start to spin and wave their flags, being careful not to hit each other. The crowd then responds wildly for the newly returned color guard.
The color guard is back at Delta High School after 25 years, and the girls are ready for action.
With the help of the new color guard / flag corps instructor, middle school language arts teacher Miss Emily Garringer, members are excited to be in the color guard. Some are ready to follow in their mother’s footsteps.
“My mom was in it when she was younger,” junior Lauren Buckley says. “I heard it was coming to Delta so I was excited.”
She is not the only person whose mom inspired her to join. Sophomore Jenna Whetzel feels the exact same way.
“I joined the color guard because my mom did it when she was in high school,” Whetzel says. “She always talked about it and once I realized we were getting a color guard, I was very interested.”
Some of them have more inspiration from other factors.
“The parades are really fun,” junior Rebekah Thorpe says. “I like to march in them and see all the little girls looking at us. It felt really special to be an inspiration to them.”
Senior Libby Crouch is also inspired by the crowd.
“I like the way the fans cheer for us,” Crouch says. “I also really like the costumes.”
But being in the color guard comes with some challenges and missed opportunities.
Senior Gracie Williams says, “It was definitely an interesting transition to stop playing an instrument and then flipping a flag.”
Some injure themselves while trying to twirl and wave the flag.
“It took a while for me to get the hang of it,” Crouch says. “I still have some bruises from where I messed up.”
Others find it easier to switch to color guard in the middle of a band concert.
“It actually wasn’t as bad as what it looked like or how it felt,” Buckley says. “It went pretty smooth after the first couple of tries.”
The practices really help them, though. Some of the girls in color guard practice more with flags at home.
The girls on the color guard have some advice for those who may want to join.
“You have to be coordinated and not drop your flag,” Thorpe says. “You also have to be teachable and listen when you get corrected.”
Williams adds: “It takes a lot of practice.”
But at the end of the day the girls have fun doing what they do.
“Most of the girls in the group are really nice,” Whetzel says, “and it’s honestly really fun and it’s good to be a part of.”
As long as they don’t smack each other with the flag poles, everything is fun.
Anyone is allowed to join, boy or girl, instrument or no instrument. Arrangements have been made for students interested in color guard to join band even if they do not play an instrument.
There are performances at many events such as football games and any event where the band marches. The fun goes wherever they go.