Kelsi Adams’ Rise In Color Guard


Kelsi Adams and Mayci Drake pose with their rifle and saber. Photo by Lasha Kelley.

Junior Kelsi Adams’ friends encouraged her to try out for color guard with them freshman year after being inspired by Saginaw High School color guard member Gabby Burkhart.

“She was like the god of color guard,” Adams said. “But I wasn’t thinking about joining.”

Despite having Burkhart as her inspiration, Adams’ friends still had to encourage her to try out with them.

“When I made it, I was excited because all my friends were in it too. And it was good to be part of something,” Adams said. “It’s funny how they wanted to do it but they dropped out.”

Color guard may not be for everyone, and while it isn’t a sport, there are still roles and positions for everyone who wants to be a part of the group.

The three officer roles in color guard are captain, lieutenant, and social officer. Adams has the role of lieutenant.

“We make sure everyone does what we’re supposed to and we check on everything,” Adams said. “Social officers take care of everything, like car washes and parties. If [the social officers] have any questions they come to us [lieutenants].”

In order to perform in game routines each member has to audition in front of Molly Owens, the director.

“If we’re having a good year [everyone in color guard can] just [perform], but sometimes our director makes us try out [for games]. It just depends on the year,” Adams said.

During performances, the more experienced members generally perform in front while the younger ones stay behind. However, sometimes the color guard’s order depends on ability and skill, she said.

Preparing for halftime shows takes months, including eight-hour practices on hot summer days, one and one-half hours during mornings and more time after school. The guard even spends some extra time making preparations during the game.

“We’re in the stands and [we] leave halfway through first quarter to change. Then we dedicate second quarter to practicing everything we’re supposed to do,” Adams said.

It is not just football games that the color guard performs at though.

On Oct. 26, the Ranger Regiment placed fifth in the Area competition, though Adams believes the band deserved a higher score.

“I was happy because we beat some bands that had been around [area] for a second time, but everyone knew we were a lot better than what we got,” Adams said. “We were so hard on ourselves because we knew we were really good.”