Carroll guard plays ‘Waiting Game’


Junior Maddie Salay rehearses with the Carroll varsity winter guard. Her mother, DeeDee Salay, works with the guard’s uniforms.

By Garth Snow

Winter guard helps develops connections and confidence, said Carroll junior and varsity guard member Rylee Holland.

“It’s really amazing, all the hard work that people put into the show and hearing the audience clap for you is really amazing after every toss and every catch,” she said. “ … [you] feel like you’re a part of something. And yes, it’s a lot of pressure but you’ve put in so much to get to this moment and it’s really worthwhile.”

Geoff Goelz directs the varsity guard. This year’s show is titled “Waiting Game.” Goelz said the show tells a story of longing for something, only to realize that it is something that was already available.

Carroll’s three winter guard units will compete Saturday, Feb. 25, at the home gym. In all, 64 winter guard units will compete that day. Because the event is a contest and not an invitational, host Carroll will compete with the visiting schools.

Competition begins at 10 a.m. Admission is $6 per person, with children under 5 admitted for $3. Infants who will be held on laps will be admitted free.

The Carroll Cadet Guard will compete at 10:35 a.m. Carroll has added a junior varsity guard this season; the unit will perform at 4:11 p.m. The Carroll Varsity will perform at 6:04 p.m. Performances continue until 7:34 p.m. Visit for the full schedule.

Holland also marches with the Carroll band. She said most color guard members take part in both activities. “This is just us, to our own music,” she said. “The winter guard also has more complicated choreography in the show.”

Holland tosses and catches the weapons — sabres, flags and air blades, which are in the shape of rifles. “The work this year has been more complicated, so it’s been a bit of a struggle,” she said.

Holland’s mother, Roanne Marlow, is a co-chairwoman of the Carroll contest. Marlow said winter guard has been a positive influence on her daughter. “She was in Cadets in the eighth grade, and that was the first year that we had a cadet guard, and she’s been in the guard for three years,” Marlow said. “She has grown tremendously, not just in confidence. It’s amazing the difference in her from the time she started this until now. She has great friends, whom she met in guard.”

The junior varsity show theme is “Sellers of Flowers.” Goelz said the story follows life’s ups and downs and what it takes to put food on the table.

Brittany Krieg is the assistant director. Lauren Lawhead also works with choreography. Shelby Frank instructs the handling of the flags. Chad Yount is the stage designer.

Sherri Foster coaches the Carroll Cadet Guard, which draw from both Carroll and Maple Creek middle schools.

Lori Wellman and DeeDee Salay coordinate uniforms. The correct term is “uniforms,” not “costumes,” said Wellman, who also works with the marching band color guard.

Goelz is in his fifth year as Carroll’s winter guard director. He also assists or directs other winter guards and fall color guards, and works with the Legends Drum &Bugle Corps based in Kalamazoo, Mich.