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NJROTC come home winners again

The members of the Crook County High School NJROTC drill team are, from top left: Jeff martin, Colin Dickson, Garrett Dickson, Shawn Fail, Dan Munjar, James Taylor, David Hughes, Brian Fullerton, Keith Myers, Nick Grant, Anthony Longoria, Lisel Shupbach, Josh Haskins, Sean Knox, Dustin Palmer, Tristin Hankins, Rebecca Lewis, Josh Jackson, Jake Fields, Anthony Marquez, Corine Maye and Shane Rytling. Photo courtesty of the Crook County NJROTC
Close on the tail of their trip to the National Field Meet in Pensacola, Florida, the Crook County High School NJROTC drill team took on more competition. The team traveled to Everett, Washington last weekend for the Northwest Drill & Rifle Conference where they remained on top by clinching high point for overall drill performance.
   Always stretching themselves to do better, the drill team spent a grueling eight-hour putting the finishing touches on several new moves to the unarmed and armed drill routines. Last minute training of several replacement cadets to fill in for students unable to compete didn't hold the team back ... the Crook County cadets were still able to walk away with top honors at the weekend meet.
   Unlike the recent National Meet, where only Navy schools attend, the Northwest Conference includes the best teams from all military branches, Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force. The two dozen or so drill teams taking part were from high schools representing communities all over Washington state and Oregon.
   Bob Palmer, assistant to the local NJROTC's Master Chief Donny Jackson, said that early in the competition, it was clear that the Crook County team was confident. "Early Saturday morning, when the color guard finished, we knew we were in the running; it was one of the best performances we had seen all year. We then moved on to the unit inspection, crisp and with renewed intensity. It was evident we were going to do some real damage - I could see it in the face of each cadet."
   Between competitions, Palmer said the team practiced and worked at putting the finishing touches on new armed drill moves. helping out was Seaman Matt Gerling, a former CCHS NJROTC member who graduated last year and is now part of the elite Ceremonial Guard in Washington, D.C.
   During the final part of the meet, the solo and dual portion, Palmer said the armed drill portion went off without a hitch. "Josh Jackson performed the solo perfectly, and James Taylor and Josh Haskins performed their new dual routine focused and determined."
   The final results gave evidence of that determination; Taylor and Haskins were first in the armed exhibition dual performance competition.
   Other results:
   Josh Jackson
    1st in armed exhibition solo performance
   Crook County NJROTC
    1st, Color Guard 2
   Crook County NJROTC
    2nd, Color Guard 1
   Josh Jackson
    2nd, Unarmed Drill Commander
   Josh Jackson
    3rd, Armed Drill Commander
   Crook County NJROTC
    2nd, Unarmed Drill Team
   Crook County NJROTC
    3rd, Armed Drill Team
   Josh Haskins
    5th, Armed Individual Drill Down, as well as high point overall: drill performance