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The Paw Print

The Student News Site of Wilde Lake High School

The Paw Print

The Student News Site of Wilde Lake High School

The Paw Print

Color Guard Team Leaps Into Success with New Members

Color+guard+captains+Katie+Yarrish%2C+Kaleo+Krapfl%2C+and+Maggie+Alt+twirl+their+flags+on+the+football+field.+The+three+worked+to+revive+the+program.+
Bella Horvath
Color guard captains Katie Yarrish, Kaleo Krapfl, and Maggie Alt twirl their flags on the football field. The three worked to revive the program.

Last year, Wilde Lake’s Color Guard program was left with only four returning members, outdated flags, old costumes, no funding, and little hope for their future. Now, the team is “thriving,” according to captain Katie Yarrish. This year the team took the field with seven new recruits, new flags and equipment, new uniforms, and a new instructor.

Science teacher Ms. Bell resigned from coaching the team directly after the 2022 season. With this new opening, Caroline John, better known as CJ, took over. CJ works as a media specialist at Laurel Woods Elementary. She attended James Madison University and performed in their Color Guard. She successfully brought a new look to the team, encouraging a stronger focus on dance.

Last year, returning member Jay Henry, and future captains, Katie Yarrish, Maggie Alt, and Kaleo Krapfl were unsure about the future of the program. With no instructor, minimal funding, and few members, the group had to rely on each other. They had to think fast, says Katie.

“[The Color Guard is] only going to get better from here.”

— Katie Yarrish

As band teacher Mr. Green helped them fundraise, the group created the Color Guard Club, defining the future of their team.

“We’d invite our friends to come, and that’s how we recruited some people every week for an hour. We’d just teach new people new things and try to gain interest,” said Katie. The club created a community for everyone interested in the sport, Katie says.

Through the Color Guard Club, the team gained seven new members. Co-captain Kaleo said the new recruits “helped build the team” and created “many new opportunities” for the program.

Despite having little Color Guard experience, new recruits like sophomore Nina Emmanuel were not nervous about joining Color Guard.

“I knew there were a lot of new people and I had a couple friends who were coming in with me,” Nina said, “I knew that I could struggle with them together.”

The program’s welcoming environment and recruiting strategy quickly grew the team, according to Nina. “We’re starting to do more advanced movements and as time progresses, we’re starting to become more coordinated when we perform together,” said Nina.

Katie says that the program is “only going to get better from here.” As she said, “Seeing us on the field this year, it inspires more people to try it out and maybe join our club. We have eleven people, and we could always have more.”

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