Maria Clara’s color guard journey


Mickaela Pina-Sandberger

The Everett High School Color Guard finishes a show during the 2021 Fall Season. Pictured bottom right is senior Maria Clara Rangel.

Mickaela Pina-Sandberger

One last time

It was a cold evening last October when Maria-Clara Rangel stepped onto the Everett Stadium turf to perform for the last time. With banana socks on and a smile on her face, she walked down the 50-yard line, setting up her equipment and fist bumping friends. The crowd roared, and looking up from the field, she took in the massive wave of red, white, and gold. Despite all the noise, she felt most at peace, and as the stadium lights revealed her every feature, she felt the most confident. 

“The field became my home,” Maria said. “I couldn’t imagine my life without the band;they’re family.”

Where it all began

The summer before her freshman year, Rangel was dared to sign up for Color Guard . 

“You won’t do it,” said one of her former classmates. “Yes, I will,” she answered. 

Later that very day, Rangel headed to Everett High School’s gym for tryouts. With many upperclassmen present, she was intimidated and not sure of her presence. Surprisingly, she was told to come back for the next round of tryouts and her journey began. What started as a joke soon became a reality. 

Soaking it in 

Color guard became a new outlet for Rangel, a newfound passion. The dare was the greatest push anyone could have given her. At the time, Rangel was only a 15-year-old freshman, but she surprisingly adapted to the team better than most. She quickly built a bond with her teammates and coach, but the happiness was short-lived.  

Early in her first season, the girls were notified that their coach, Danielle Gagnon, had to step away to focus on her battle with cancer. 

“It was hard seeing her go through that,” Rangel remembered. “She left because it was too difficult.” 

Then on top of losing their coach, the Color Guard lost a fall and winter season due to the pandemic. Rangel lost her “place to escape,” and it affected her mentally. She found herself less motivated, sitting around missing what felt like her purpose. 

Wrapping it up 

Maria is now a confident senior and captain of the Color Guard.  She uses her experiences as a way to guide younger girls who are starting off on the team. During her journey, she has come to the conclusion that in order to be passionate about something, you need to have a reason. The self-conscious freshman is now a leader, and she is happy to use herself as a prime example of progression. 

“I got more confident,” Rangel said. “I got more comfortable and even got to meet new people who are from different countries”

That is why Rangel will consider continuing color guard in college. She remembers the path that the team provided for her, and she hopes that future classes of EHS take warmth in knowing there are similar opportunities for anyone who looks for them.