The measured sound of marching feet and calls of cadence filled the air across the campus of Dawson County High School on Saturday, Sept. 29 as the Junior Reserve Office Training Corps (JROTC) of Cadets hosted 16 schools for the fourth Raider Meet of the season.
Fielding 10 person teams in three categories (male, female and mixed) the Raiders competed as a small unit in a series of events designed to test their cohesiveness, coordination, discipline and physical fitness. Schools could run as many teams as they wanted to run and a total of 38 teams participated in the event with most schools running two men’s teams and a single female and mixed team.
“There is no individual score,” said Instructor Steve Pamplin. “When the last person crosses the line that is when the team is finished.”
Starting with a timed team run, each group then moved as fast as possible through an obstacle course, a sand-bag relay, a simulated casualty carry, a tire-flipping race and building and traversing a rope bridge.
“The event is designed to be similar to the type of training that Rangers do in the army,” said Pamplin.
The level of exertion necessary to complete the course was evident in the Dawson County Raiders as they recovered after their morning run through the course. Each member of the team looked tired and physically run down but thrilled about their performance overall.
“I feel like we did really well as a team,” said Battalion Commander Cadet LTC Noah Stapp. “We finished the obstacle course in around three minutes, and that’s pretty good.”
In fact, the three-minute time was good enough for a second-place finish for the Dawson County Raider men’s team in the obstacle course. Dawson County’s mixed team also took home hardware on the day by grabbing a second place finish in the tire-flip race.
The overall awards for the day went to Riverside Military Academy in the male category, Norcross High School in the mixed team events and South Gwinnett High School in the female division.