A Thousand Words: Aug. 30, 2011


Jerry Englehart Jr

Guns, sabers and flags are not always tools of war, history and defeat. They are in fact essential parts of the color guard team’s performance.

With the experienced hands of a color guard member, the high-flying and dangerous equipment can create exciting support for any marching band during a football game.

Scottsville senior Seth Tooley describes his personality for color guard as passionate and super competitive.

“I came into the team really excited after high school,” said Tooley, a graduate from Allen County-Scottsville High School and one of the 120 students in the inaugural class for the Gatton Academy in 2008.

For three consecutive years, Tooley was part of WKU’s color guard team and can attest to the slightly dangerous possibility of injury. Tooley said he has been hit in the head with his mock rifle and took a chunk out of his lip in high school while performing with the Allen County-Scottsville High School color guard.

“I made really good friends my first year on the team, and it was my favorite year,” Tooley said. He said that he is still good friends with girls he met on the team during that first year.

Yet, with so much time already invested, Tooley decided to part ways with WKU’s color guard team this year.

“Colleges do not have an organization for marching band competitions like they do for high schools,” Tooley said.

With no competitive outlet for the WKU color guard team, Tooley decided it was better to concentrate on his studies more than try to create routines for color guard that were too complex for a small team. Still, with an internal passion for color guard, Tooley finds time to practice routines he created on the lawn near Grise Hall.

“You could improve things only if there were more experienced spinners,” Tooley said. “The moves and height I throw my rifle were never allowed when I was on the team.”

“A Thousand Words” is a weekly photo essay that tells untold stories on the edges of campus.