Leadership, fundamentals and focus brought home another trophy for the Taylor High School JROTC.
Fifteen cadets represented Taylor High School against six other schools in the Lincoln Park drill competition on recently. Cadets competed in group unarmed marching, group marching with non-firing drill rifles, and individual drill.
The drill routines consist of 50 group movements that cover the area of an entire basketball court. Each unarmed cadet is evaluated on over 200 separate elements during the routine. For 13 cadets performing together, this works out to about 3,000 opportunities for errors during each performance. Judges also look for precision, correct body position, alignment, confidence and military bearing.
The team assembled early that Saturday. Based upon who could get to the competition, the two commanders selected individuals for key positions, and then rehearsed twice for the two events. Eleven cadets had to perform in two routines; for most this was their first drill. All Taylor cadets entered the arena projecting a winning attitude and completely focused on executing what they had practiced.
Unarmed drill commander Kristin Long presented herself with authority and confidence. Her posture, crisp movements and strong vocal commands set the tone for her team’s performance. Six minutes is a long time to be under the microscope of four judges looking for any error in movement, but the cadets kept their cool and executed nearly perfectly.
The armed drill platoon did not fare as well. Three errors in their routine kept them off the winner’s podium. Every experience is an opportunity for improving.
Team commander Logan Blevins said later that experiencing a loss “motivates him even more to get better.” Cadets Bryce Coughlin, Ashley Clinton and Logan Blevins ended the day by earning individual medals for drill precision during the ‘Knock-Off’ event, wherein all 150 cadets attending the competition compete in one large group against each other.
Ninth-grade cadet Cody Welch summed up his experience by saying “It is both stressful and fun to go out in front of judges and an audience and perform. Performing, getting judged and receiving feedback make you better at what you do.”
The team’s next event is the Michigan drill meet at Cass Tech High School in Detroit.
(The Drill Team from left is Bryce Coughlin, Chris Elliott, Isaiah Gary, Kayla Coop, Ashley Clinton, Nathan Hill, Cody Welch, Logan Blevins, Carlos Navaro, Isaac Krebs, Kristin Long, Ian Leffler. Not pictured: Dalton Buck)