The Smith-Cotton Tiger Battalion hosted their ninth annual Drill Meet on Saturday, attracting 15 teams (Bellevue West, Blue Springs, Central St. Jo, Clinton, Forsyth, Junction City, Knob Noster, Leavenworth, Lee’s Summit, Nixa, Ozark, Papillion, Shawnee Heights, Van Horn, Waynesville and Wichita Southeast) from Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa and Kansas competed at S-C for trophies in 10 divisions.
The events were judged by active duty and reserve members of the military services.
In addition, a fund-raising silent auction with items donated by local businesses and restaurants was held to benefit the S-C JROTC program.
By Brett Hall
Sedalia Weekly Observer
The JROTC program is a program designed to teach high school students leadership skills and discipline. The drill team is a large part of that, as it is a chance for cadets to demonstrate the leadership skills they have learned.
Each year Smith-Cotton hosts its own drill meet, in which many teams from around the country gather to compete. This year the meet hosted 15 teams for its ninth annual drill meet.
The event has come a long way since its origins, as this year’s meet featured teams from all around the country; including St. Johns Military Academy from Wisconsin, Bellevue West High School and Papillion High School from Nebraska, Leavenworth High School from Kansas, and Wichita Southeast High School from Kansas.
A lot of planning goes into this event, and surprisingly all of the planning is done by the cadets. According to the battalion commander Aurora Rafael, the cadets of the Smith-Cotton JROTC program planned the entire event. As battalion commander, Aurora is responsible for the 200 cadets in the program this year.
Each year, the meet has a silent auction in which items donated are auctioned to raise money for the program. This year’s silent auction featured a number of unique items; including a hand-crafted oak quilt chest donated by cadet Megan Wilbanks and family, a hand-stitched patriotic themed quilt donated by cadet Connor Greene and family, a rifle donated by Starline, and a toolbox donated by Waterloo.
Approximately 25 parents came out to help run and support the event. The meet itself was an overwhelming success, with Leavenworth High School taking first place overall. The level of leadership shown by the cadets who organized the drill meet is truly outstanding. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia Weekly Observer.