JROTC cadets from all over the Midwest will gather at Smith-Cotton High School on Saturday for the eighth annual drill championship competition.
Smith-Cotton cadets have been working on this meet since the beginning of the school year.
“There are a lot of drill meets, but I think that we try to run the best drill meet we can. We try to be really professional and I think that schools that have come in the past come back because we run such a professional meet,” said cadet Command Sgt. Maj. Jordyn Kemp. “Also with the successes of our drill team at drill nationals, everybody kind of notices who we are. They want to come to our school and just see what we are all about.”
Drill teams from 17 schools and numerous states including Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Wisconsin will be competing in seven events — unarmed drill and exhibition, armed drill and exhibition, color guard, individual drill down and new platoon.
“It’s way different than competing when you are actually running it,” said cadet Lt. Col. Hannah Ott.
Cadet Maj. Jovana Cervantes added that by hosting the meet, “We actually get to talk to the other schools because usually when we are competing, we are going from one event to another. We don’t even have time to meet them.”
With 17 schools attending, 25 teams will be competing. Each team will be escorted by a Smith-Cotton JROTC cadet for the day. Meanwhile, the judges are brought in from a variety of places.
“We try to bring in different branches of the military so it’s fair and it’s not biased,” said cadet Maj. Aurora Rafael. Judges will include drill sergeants from Fort Leonard Wood, recruiters and Navy, National Guard and Air Force personnel.
The meet will start at 8 a.m. and will end at 5 p.m. at the high school. Admission is free.
“Anybody can come and watch. We have a lot of parents from these other schools and people from Sedalia come and watch these performances. We’d like to encourage a lot of people to come out and just watch the hard work these drill teams do,” said Kemp.
Other highlights include a silent auction. Popular items include a rifle, rodeo tickets, toolbox and four park hopper passes to Disney World in Florida. One hundred and fifty items will be sold in the auction and tickets for a 50/50 raffle will also be sold.
All proceeds will benefit the Smith-Cotton High School JROTC program.
IF YOU GO
What: Eighth annual Smith-Cotton JROTC drill championship competition
When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
Where: Smith-Cotton High School