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Marion High School's JROTC Drill Team earns top finishes at University of Toledo

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December 05, 2017

In their first competition of the year, the Marion High School JROTC Drill team earned multiple top placements — including two first-place finishes — last weekend at the University of Toledo.

During drill team competitions, cadets perform precision drill movements under the watchful eye of Army drill sergeants. Saturday, in addition to the two top finishes, the Giants brought home pairs second- and third-place finishes as well.

“What a great start to our competitive season,” Command Sgt. Maj. (Ret.) Jon Smith, the Giants’ Army instructor, said. “With nearly half the team being freshman, our performance showed that we have the depth and abilities for this and future years.  I am proud of how our cadets performed. “

The Giants competed against eight other schools in multiple events, including:

·         Color guard (regulation)

·         Unarmed squad regulation drill

·         Armed squad regulation drill

·         Unarmed squad exhibition drill

·         Individual exhibition

·         Duet exhibition

The regulation events require the cadets to perform a specified routine mandated by the Army’s drill regulations. During exhibition events, cadets are free to develop their own routine, but it must last a specified length of time. During the competition, several drill sergeants and Senior ROTC cadets watch the movements of each cadet, looking for any minor infraction or mistake.

Cadet DJ Smith earned first place in the individual exhibition event, his highest finish ever in this category.

“As soon as they announced the second-place finisher, I knew I had won,” he said. “It felt great.”

Smith also partnered with Cadet Austen Robbins for a top finish in the duet exhibition category.

The Toledo competition also allowed teams composed of only first-year cadets to compete in the various events. The Giants’ first-year color guard team, composed of Hayleigh Cravens, Kaitlin Alcantar, Jessica Pickell, and Korbin Elliott, earned a third-place finish.

Other top finishes for the Giants were:

·         Second place, individual exhibition, Cadet Joseph O’Donnell

·         Second place, unarmed squad exhibition

·         Third place, veteran color guard

CAPTION: The Marion High School JROTC Drill Team competed Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, at the University of Toledo. The Giants performed well, earning pairs of first-, second- and third-place finishes in this first competition of the year.

Lt. Col. David Farlow
(765) 664-9051 x2455