Manta Rays, Chamorro Bucks dominate JROTC drill meet

The Saipan Southern High School's Manta Ray Battalion performs in the unarmed exhibition category of last Saturday's CNM-PSS Multiple School Unit JRTOC drill competition at the Marianas High School grounds. (Jon Perez)

The Saipan Southern High School’s Manta Ray Battalion performs in the unarmed exhibition category of last Saturday’s CNM-PSS Multiple School Unit JRTOC drill competition at the Marianas High School grounds. (Jon Perez)

Reigning champions Saipan Southern High School and Dr. Rita H. Inos Jr. /Sr. High School succeeded in defending their titles during Saturday’s annual CNMI Multiple School JROTC drill meet. They will be representing the CNMI once again in the National Drill Meet at the Golden Bear in Torrance, California.

Saturday’s opening ceremony was led by Kagman High School’s armed color guard.

“It was a success for everyone since no one went home empty -handed, which is good. I’m glad that it turned out the way it did,” said Capt. James Burke, senior Army instructor of KHS and drill meet coordinator.

KHS went home with a third-place win for armed inspection.

MHS was finally able to get an award after a four-year drought. They got two third place-finishes for unarmed and two second place-finishes for armed categories.

Lt. Col. Ramon Ichihara, Marianas High School’s senior Army instructor, said he is proud of his cadets for winning and that he’s thankful to have hardworking cadets.

Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Basa, the SSHS senior Army instructor, said that all schools that competed did an outstanding job in improving their drill skills.

SSHS took home five first place trophies and three runner-up awards. The wins are for the following categories: armed exhibition, armed regulation, armed inspection, unarmed inspection and unarmed regulation. They also won the overall award for armed category.

Capt. Joseph Santos, the Tinian High School senior Army instructor, said that his cadets worked extremely hard to get to where they are today, and that they did the best they could.

THS went home with six awards, which include a first place for the unarmed exhibition.

Santos encouraged all schools to support the two schools that will represent the CNMI in the nationals, to bring trophies back home.

Rota High School got five awards that included a first place for the unarmed color guard. They won the overall award for the unarmed category.

First Sgt. Philip Sablan, the RHS Army instructor, said his team did their best and that they should continue to strive and be the best they could be.

Associate Commissioner Yvonne R. Pangelinan said: “The performances were outstanding, everybody put their heart and soul into it so it was a great show.”

“For the two teams that will represent CNMI in the states—SSHS and RHS—you should take pride in that win, just continue the preparations and stay dedicated with anything you do in life,” Pangelinan added.

Marianas High School principal Cherlyn Cabrera, who was present during the competition, said: “I’m very proud of the cadets that participated in this event. I’m always proud of them but I’m especially proud of them today for all the effort they put in. …The things you’ve learned from this competition you can apply it in life, that what you put in the effort that’s what makes you successful.”

This year’s competition, hosted by the Kagman High School Ayuyu Battalion, was held at the Marianas High School drill pad. The CNMI Army JROTC drill competition consisted of the following categories: inspection, color guard, regulation and exhibition drills. (Mackenzie Perez)

Contributing Author

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