SSHS sweeps drill competition


The Saipan Southern High School armed and unarmed squad pose for a photo following the annual CNMI Drill competition last weekend. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

A team from Saipan Southern High School’s Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps swept the armed and the unarmed division of the annual CNMI Drill Competition last Saturday at the Koblerville Gymnasium.

SSHS’ unarmed team came out on top with an overall score of 3,521 and their armed team won with an overall score of 3,288.

In the unarmed category, SSHS got 744 points for unarmed inspection, 791 points for color, 1,003 points for regulation, and 983 for exhibition.

In the armed category, SSHS received 706 points for inspection, 700 points for color, 963 for regulation, 919 for exhibition.

Both SSHS’ armed and unarmed teams plan to make the journey to California this year to compete at the National Drill competition, but those plans are still tentative at this point due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

According to SSHS Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Basa, it was a very good day for SSHS as it was their first time to sweep the competition.

“We won both armed and unarmed for the first time, we got both overall trophies, so it was a great day for the Manta Rays,” he said, referring to the school’s mascot, the Manta Ray.

Basa credits the hard work and dedication of his students for their outstanding performance.

“Its dedication. The other thing that I experienced with them is the countless hours of drill practice since we started back in the beginning of September. We have really strong drill commanders and they made this happen,” he said.

As for the plan for the SSHS teams to represent the CNMI at the national drill competition, “that’s the plan but we are not sure yet, we haven’t gotten word yet. As of right now, I have to wait on that information. With the situation, [the coronavirus] might be a factor in terms of the decision-making of the commissioner, principal, and Board of Education,” Basa said.

Following SSHS in the unarmed category was Tinian High School, with an overall score of 3,432, Kagman High School with 3,410, Rota High School with 3,327, and Marianas High School with 3,294.

In the armed category, RHS came a close second with an overall score of 3,249, followed by MHS with 3,095, and finishing in fourth place was THS with a score of 2,996.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at

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