New­ton High MCJROTC drill team ends sea­son

Rams fin­ish yet an­other out­stand­ing school year

The Covington News - - Sports -

The New­ton High MCJROTC pro­gram has been field­ing a drill team since it started in 1996, but the 2008 sea­son was the most suc­cess­ful so far.

Through hard work and sheer de­ter­mi­na­tion, this year’s drill team amassed a record that will be dif­fi­cult to top.

It be­gan in Au­gust 2007 at Mon­roe High, where the drill meet was aptly named the “Go Ugly, Early.” While none of the teams were quite ready for se­ri­ous com­pe­ti­tion, the Rams fin­ished third over­all in what was a re­ally fun day.

The first re­ally com­pet­i­tive drill meet was the an­nual visit to Asheville High. New­ton again ended in third place, but this time against stiffer com­pe­ti­tion from mostly Marine Corps schools.

Be­sides win­ning the third place tro­phy, the team also cap­tured first in two of the un­armed drill events, per­son­nel in­spec­tion, first year armed drill and in­di­vid­ual knock­out com­pe­ti­tion. New­ton re­ceived sec­ond place in color guard and third in squad armed drill.

Af­ter a hard week of prac­tice dur­ing fall break, the Rams made their first visit to Ridge­land High in Rossville, tak­ing five first place, two sec­ond place and one fourth place tro­phy en route to win­ning first place over­all at the meet.

New­ton swept nearly all of the unit drill events, in­clud­ing armed and un­armed ex­hi­bi­tion drill. (Ex­hi­bi­tion drill con­sists of five to seven minute rou­tines ex­e­cuted from start to fin­ish with­out ver­bal com­mands.

The next stop was the an­nual trip to T. L. Hanna High in An­der­son, S.C., which proved to be an­other spec­tac­u­lar drill per­for­mance. It fea­tured both drill and phys­i­cal fit­ness events, with first place tro­phies awarded for each area and an over­all tro­phy that in­cluded the to­tals of both.

New­ton fin­ished first in the over­all drill events, but did not do as well in the phys­i­cal events. This re­sulted in an over­all third place fin­ish. In drill, the Rams brought home three first place, two sec­ond place and four third place tro­phies.

Dur­ing drill meets in Chat­tanooga and Mont­gomery, New­ton was not on top of its game; how­ever, the team left Mont­gomery de­ter­mined to re­cap­ture the win­ning spirit.

The Rams re­grouped and got back on track at R. S. Cen­tral High in Ruther­ford­ton, N.C., tak­ing third place over­all against mostly Marine Corps com­pe­ti­tion.

First place fin­ishes came in armed and un­armed squad drill and the per­son­nel in­spec­tion. The team fin­ished sec­ond in color guard and un­armed pla­toon drill, and third in duet ex­hi­bi­tion.

In the fi­nal meet of the year at North Forsyth High, New­ton’s Marine cadets nearly ran the ta­ble in drill events and came away with an­other first place tro­phy.

The team cap­tured seven first place tro­phies, in­clud­ing per­son­nel in­spec­tion, armed and un­armed pla­toon reg­u­la­tion, pla­toon ex­hi­bi­tion and both in­di­vid­ual and duet ex­hi­bi­tion.

With an ad­di­tional four sec­ond place and one third place fin­ish in other events, New­ton lit­er­ally ran away with the meet.

The suc­cess of this year’s team is largely due to the ef­forts of the se­niors. It was their over­rid­ing de­sire to ex­cel and ex­cep­tional lead­er­ship that pushed New­ton from start to fin­ish.

“Don’t tell me to­day’s young peo­ple are not ca­pa­ble of achiev­ing great things,” said New­ton drill team coach Gun­nery Sergeant Sher­man Smith. “Th­ese se­niors and this team proves to­day’s youth can do what they de­mand of them­selves and are will­ing to work for.”

Cadet Colonel Court­ney Hicks used her ded­i­cated staff of Cadet LtCol Kelley McGill, Cadet Ma­jor Kevin Uh­lig, Cadet Ma­jor Kristi Pierce, Cadet Ma­jor Rick­iesha Cal­houn, Cadet Ma­jor Amy Sumpter, Cadet Cap­tain Alaina Pois­son and Cadet 1st Lieu­tenant Justin Sim­mons to mo­ti­vate and in­spire the 2008 drill team to new heights of ex­cel­lence.

In fact, it was the se­niors who drove the Rams to ded­i­cate four days of fall break to pre­pare for a new drill meet. Their per­sis­tence al­lowed them to com­pete in more drill meets this sea­son than in any other.

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