A New Coach For Winter Guard

With a team of twelve at most in past years the Oak Park Winter Guard isn’t widely known, in competition, or in the school. “We thought we were over” one member stated, after the coach of several years had to make a difficult decision between her newborn child and the team. After letting us know of the possibility that she may not be returning the next year she made a decision to focus on her baby. She still comes in and helps out as much as she can though and all the girls appreciate everything she still does for us. The team continued to have doubtful thoughts about the likely hood of a guard this year, until Casey Vokolek sent out an email to the guard girls saying that he may have found someone to coach for us. Once the announcements for clinics came on the Axe our hopes were high.

Laura Lee, our saving grace, is an English teacher at Antioch middle school. This mother of two was in guard for four years overall and actually got a scholarship to university of central Oklahoma for color guard! She had coached color guard at Antioch for barely a semester when she got the offer to come coach winter guard. When asked how she felt about the switching guards this was her response, “scared. I didn’t feel like I was ready.”

This season has been nothing if not flexible, especially considering we started nearly a month later than we were supposed to, this put us at a serious disadvantage since most competing guards had that extra month of practice. “Yes very much. I had a nearly sleepless week, mostly because I didn’t want to let the guard down.” Coach Lee said when questioned about feeling overwhelmed with the late start. At our first competition everyone had mixed emotions but I don’t think anyone had more conflicts in their mind than our new coach. “I was pretty confident before performing. I thought our skill sets were where they needed to be.” And afterwards? That’s a different story, “That was when I started getting nervous. I tried to look at it from a judge’s perspective and maybe being a bit to critical, especially on what we worked on and what we didn’t work on.”

I asked her about her overall opinion of the guard and how she felt about the season “My favorite part of it would have to be working with these students and getting to know them. I am also amazed by the level of skill this team has.” The entire team agrees when one said that Laura Lee is going to be an amazing thing for this guard.