Color Guard builds flourishing legacy under Jordan

Quincy Schmechel, Editorial Board

Football, basketball, volleyball, baseball. No matter what sport event you attend, it’s likely that one experience is always the same: the National Anthem. For the last 53 years, CMR Color Guard has been dedicated to flying CMR’s three flags at each and every home game, supporting patriotism and school spirit without fail.
And for the majority of those years– since 1980– the team has been led by Velma Jordan.
“I came to CMR… when they first opened,” Jordan said. “At that time they had a mounted Color Guard.”
Jordan said that when an all-weather track was installed in Memorial Stadium, the five horses of the Color Guard weren’t allowed.
“At that time you couldn’t buy costumes,” Jordan reminisced. “So the home ec. teacher and I sewed [the costumes].”
Jordan says that after that year, she was asked to coach Color Guard.
“We were feeling pretty popular at the time,” she laughed. “So I said yes, but only [if I had] 30 flags.”
Jordan said that Color Guard is important to the community because it instills respect and and patriotism in young people.
“You’re not going to make a living in Color Guard,” she said. However, she said that if you know how to treat the flag you can go far in life. She says that she has past students that have continued Color Guard in military careers, such as the Marine Corps.
Jordan says that if there were one thing she’d change about Color Guard — and spirit teams in general — it would be the declining interest.
“Times have changed. Young people have changed,” she said. “But you have to be willing to change. We used to have 100 kids trying out, but now we have to beg.”
Jordan wishes also that the students at CMR could see the dedication of the Color Guard, and the pride the kids take in the team.
“When I blow that whistle, it’s up to them,” she said. “It’s their show out there.”
Freshman Tenley Webber says that joining Color Guard helped her find her place at CMR, and even helped her pick CMR as opposed to Great Falls High when she moved to Montana from Louisiana last fall.
“When I was in Louisiana, I did Color Guard there. We even competed,” she said.
She said that she watched both CMR and Great Falls High’s Color Guard before choosing which school to attend, and CMR was the clear choice.
“It’s a lot of fun,” she said.