The FHN Winter Guard Gains an Entirely New Coaching Staff


Credit to Lauren Harmon

Winter Guard Coaches, Mr.Carrey and Mr Eaton instructing the team during practice on November 17. Students were preparing a routine for the current winter season. The members were also led by Mr Welker.

By Amber Winkler

The transition from the fall sports season to the winter season brought some major changes for the FHN winter guard team. At the end of the color guard season all of their staff decided to retire from their positions. This resulted in the team gaining an entirely new staff for their current season. 

“[The change] was very nerve wracking at first and I was definitely nervous but I’m also excited for a change and I think we’re going to do well with it,” winter guard co-captain and junior McKenna O’Connor said. 

This left all spots on the staff vacant and in need of filling from the fall season of color guard, band director Robert Stegeman was left in charge of finding the new directors for the winter guard team. He then reached out to people that he thought would be perfect for the roles of assistant director and head director.

“All of them changed,” O’Connor said. “So, we have a new head coach, a new co director and then new assistant coaches.”

These spots were filled by Jared Carey, the new head director, and Brady Eaton, the new assistant director. In their short time as directors for the FHN winter guard, they have already had a positive effect on the team. 

“We’ve only had tryouts, but they’ve definitely already given us improvements to work on and I think it’s already helped us,” O’Connor said. “They’ve helped the vibe in general, get better.” 

Carey has done Color Guard for 12 years and has been teaching color guard for nine years. He was very excited when he heard about the open position here at North because of the color guard’s history at North.

“The program has a rich history of excellence and being able to continue that forward is just important to me,” Carey said.

Eaton first became involved in color guard in 2013 and then became a coach in 2017. Originally, there were some small difficulties that needed to be worked out in order for him to be able to coach at North, one being the fact that he currently teaches at North Point High School. But, he found a way to make this position work, while maintaining his teaching job. 

“I just have a real passion for the activity and I really wanted to be able to share that passion with students and see them find that passion themselves,” Eaton said. “So coaching was the way to do that.”

While O’Connor believes that the change is nerve-wracking, Eaton and Carey are very excited and not worried at all. He is ready for the season and to be performing again in front of live audiences again. 

“I’m most excited to be back in front of live crowds,” Carey said. “That is something that we have severely missed. The virtual thing was fine, but there’s nothing quite like being in front of a live crowd.”