On the morning of April 6, the Smith-Cotton JROTC Drill Team competed in Louisville, Ky., at the second annual Army JROTC Drill Team National Championship. Drill teams from across the nation competed and the Smith-Cotton Drill Team received the national champion runner-up trophy.
On competition day, at least 2,200 cadets from 66 schools and 22 states, including one from Hawaii, vied for success. The Smith-Cotton Armed and Unarmed drill teams held their own against perennial drill powerhouses such as Douglas McArthur High School (Texas), Francis Lewis High School (New York), and James Madison High School (Texas).
The Armed Drill Team performed well in every category, including a nearly flawless performance in Armed Regulation.
Just before the performance the team commander, Cadet Rachael DeMent, told the judge, “Are you ready for a show?”
The judge responded by saying, “It will be hard to beat the last performance.”
Cadet DeMent replied, “You haven’t seen us yet!”
Their performance earned the Armed Regulation Team a second-place trophy, and helped propel them to an eighth-place finish overall.
The Unarmed Drill Team performed exceptionally well in each of their events. Smith-Cotton received the unarmed exhibition first-place trophy. Very strong performances in the other events contributed to Smith-Cotton JROTC being named the national champion runner-up team.
Armed Team Exhibition Commander and senior 1st Sgt. Blake Kramer was very pleased with the teams’ performances. He has been dedicated to the drill team for four years and has been very glad to have been able to lead, train and mentor the younger cadets to follow in his footsteps.
“I know that the drill team will be left in good hands after graduation,” he said, “and I hope that I have been able to make a positive difference in at least one cadet.”
The drill team looks forward to competing in Daytona Beach, Fla., on May 5 and 6 to win a national championship trophy for Smith-Cotton High School.