JROTC drills down regionals


Haley Johnson

(from left) Thiago DaSilva, Jacob Russell, John Vega, Evan Sawyer, and Jack Ho pose for armed regulation.

MARIA KOTOB, Staff Writer

Coming from as far as Philadelphia, eighteen schools competed in Gloucester High School’s 15th annual MLK regional drill and rifle meet, hosted by its JROTC program.

“For our first competition of the year, it went really well, especially because we had a lot of new kids.” said senior ROTC drill team member Amy Geraghty.

Starting off the two-day competition on Friday, the schools’ rifle teams took the floor to compete in the rifle match. Gloucester’s best shooter was Thuy Nguyen, who placed second out of fifty-four. The runner up for GHS was Epi Perez, who was twentieth out of fifty-four. Overall, the team placed seventh out of ten with a total of 804 points with seven total bulls-eyes.

Saturday’s competition focused solely on drill requirements. Out of the nine events, Gloucester participated in five: female color guard, unarmed inspection, armed inspection, unarmed regulation, and armed regulation.

“We typically don’t compete in every event because we don’t want to be eligible for the overall,” said GHS JROTC program leader Gunner Muth. “Some years ago, in the first couple of years in this, we won the overall two or three years in a row and after a while teams complained. So we took ourselves out of that.”

They earned second place in unarmed inspection with 625 points, and third in female color guard with 178 points, unarmed inspection with 500 points, unarmed regulation with 676 points, and armed regulation with 438 points.

“We’ve always been in the top tier. We haven’t really gone down, but we haven’t really gone up either. We’re usually constantly in fifth place or up.” said Geraghty. “We had no experienced commanders during this drill meet. Of the three events that we placed in, all three of them were inexperienced commanders.”

Three cadets were awarded medals for their individual achievements. Thuy Nguyen earned an award for commanding an unarmed regulation, Soo Ae Ono for commanding the color guard, and Raysa Zorrilla for individual drill.

“Since we have so many new kids, it’s really good for the drill team for next year. Even if half of the team leaves, then there’s still a ton of people left,” said Geraghty. “I think that the drill team will continue to be strong.”