The changes coming to East’s color guard

Learn about the changes coming to East’s color guard and what is to come next


Myles Mickle

Have you experienced a halftime show at an East football game? Then you’ve probably seen the color guard preforming while the band is playing their music. Something you might not know is that after this school year, color guard will change.

Color guard is a sport that very few know about but if you’ve seen a football game, you have probably witnessed them performing. The sport of color guard is a group/team of people of any gender or background who toss flags, rifles, and even swords that they call sabers. The team here at East is small but that doesn’t stop them from making sure color guard is recognized.

“It may be small, but it is mighty, and we represent school spirit with our beautiful twirling of the flags,” sophomore Jay Johnson said.

Color guard is going to be undergoing a huge change after this year. The beloved color guard coach, Madi Williams, is going to be stepping down from her coaching position. Williams has been coaching East’s color guard for years now and as much as she loves coaching the team, its getting to be too much for her.

“It’s been a great time, and I’m still not really ready to leave… but I think I’ve given all I can,” Williams said.

— Madi WIlliams, color guard coach

Just like any activity or hobby that you like doing, it can eventually become boring, or you don’t feel as into it as you may have used to. Williams has choreographed some great routines like the ones you may have seen at this year’s football games to the songs of Michael Jackson and over the winter, she had choreographed a dance that the color guard took to the ISDTA dance team and solo competition at Wells Fargo Arena where the team successfully preformed and brought home a division one rating. (You can see the previous years and the division one rating downstairs in the band room.) Williams has many things she loves about coaching color guard, but one shines over all the rest.

“It’s seeing the excitement when someone finally gets a skill down after working so hard, watching the performance, and noticing improvement. It’s rewarding all around,” Williams said.

Williams has made some great performances and even though color guard isn’t well known, she always makes sure the team leaves a mark wherever they go.

“I trust that the next person is going to launch the program to greater things,” Williams said.

After Williams leaves, color guard is going to be needing a new coach and the only thing that can make this happen is the school. The school has to try their hardest and make sure that next year, East is not short of an activity that is already lesser known than many of the other activities here at East. Color guard is very important to the team and having to possibly see their activity leave East is heartbreaking.

“Color guard is a family, it is a home, it brings you out of your shell and gives you sisters and brothers to rely on when you are weak,” Johnson said.

If the school was to not find a coach and the team’s efforts didn’t work, color guard would not be an activity at East anymore.

“We’ll find a new coach. If not, there are some options I know for some activities have a sharing agreement with other schools, that would be my last option. We will search high and far for another color guard coach. We have some people contacting us, and we have some feelers out there to promote some things,” East’s activity director, JR Randall said.

Color guard is not set to disappear any time soon and the team wouldn’t let that happen either way. Color guard is very important to all team members and provides many different things for everyone.

“It’s an escape from everything,” freshmen Serenity Safley said.

Other than the team not letting color guard disappear, the school wont either. Color guard is not only an activity at East but its just one part of why East is so great. Our school has many opportunities for kids to participate and feel like they are apart of something bigger than just being a student and that’s something that makes East unlike any other school in the Des Moines area. We are all about inclusivity and making sure everyone feels as if they are a part of something more.

“It [color guard] provides kids with an opportunity to participate. I look at what we did last year during football season with the band and how well that went over. I want to see color guard, I want to see that head coaching position be a priority in that coaches, I don’t wanna say career, but it has to be a priority for that coach,” Randall said.

The future of East’s color guard will be just like the previous years but slightly different. Like any sport here at East, a new coach is just an opportunity to start a new chapter in the future of that activity. The team’s hope is that the new coach of color guard will be just as great and fulfill the legacy of Coach Williams. Color guard will change but we will never forget just how far Madi Williams has brought East’s color guard.