When talking to Madison Howell about her involvement in color guard as a senior at Stephenville High School, her passion definitely shows.

“I really love that we all come together as a family,” Howell said. “It’s amazing. We’ve grown so much together over these past few years.”

Howell is the rifle captain of the team and is looking forward to a successful year.

“It’s actually a state year for our band, so I’m really hoping we go to state,” she said. “I think with me, our flag captain Deb and our lieutenant Erin, all three of us helping everyone we’ll get up there.”

Howell wasn’t sure how color guard would turn out for her joining as a freshman in high school.

“I just wanted to do something different, something I had never done before starting my high school career,” she said. “I told myself, ‘I’ll just try it and see if it works,’ and I love it, it’s my passion.”

Howell’s responsibilities include helping teammates with any questions they may have and teaching them the art of spinning.

“It’s kind of one of those practice-makes-perfect kind of things,” she said. “When you first start it’s really hard. You have to really focus on the technique and the more you work at it the better you’ll get.”

Howell attended camps over the summer to gear up for her position as well as work with her team.

“I really enjoyed learning because I think it’s kind of like an art,” she said. “Color guard is a sport of the arts and I really enjoy learning the art of spinning and dancing.”

Right now Howell is still undecided on her plans after graduation, but is thinking of attending either Tarleton State University, Ranger College or working full time before she enrolls. She has a love for poetry and wants to eventually become an English teacher.

Her goals this year include making good grades and going out with some amazing experiences, but she will miss color guard.

“I can’t even imagine not being in color guard anymore,” she said. “It’s really heartbreaking and it’s hitting me really hard.”

Howell said her biggest inspiration over these past few years has been Stephanie Childs, the color guard coach.

“She has been one of my biggest influences over these past four years of high school. She has inspired me so much and is probably the coolest lady I’ve ever met in my entire life,” she said. “She’s helped me with color guard, with issues outside of color guard and just everything. She has really brought me up in life.”