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The Coyote Caller

The Coyote Caller

The Coyote Caller

Photo Gallery: Soccer vs. Northwest, May 9, 2024
Photo Gallery: Soccer vs. Northwest, May 9, 2024
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Photo Gallery: JROTC @Daytona Beach Drill World Championships
Photo Gallery: JROTC @Daytona Beach Drill World Championships
Gisely Argueta, Phototgrapher • Published May 8, 2024
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JROTC proves outstanding at Rocky Mountain Drill Nationals

Last weekend, West Creek’s JROTC drill teams brought back seven more trophies to fill its already full trophy cases. Out of 27 other schools, the Coyote Pride unarmed drill team finished in 1st place, while the Coyote Guard color guard finished 2nd.

Individually, the armed duo team of seniors Christopher Michaelis and Brayden Vest finished as champions, and senior Imani Conner-Cato was awarded 1st place, Cadet Commander.

Michaelis and Vest prepare for the Armed Duo competition.

In the armed duo competition, pairs come up with a sequence of moves on the spot and perform it.

“It’s a big accomplishment,” Vest said. “We went up against not only other high schools but also military academies. Putting in all that work paid off. It’s the first time in West Creek’s history that we participated in the competition.”

“We weren’t sure we were in over our heads when we first got there,” Michaelis said. “This legitimizes our program and sets us up for the future.”

Conner-Cato was overwhelmed when she learned she had won 1st place. “I started sobbing. I cried three times,” she said. “I felt that this was my last year to put myself out there. The last chance to be who I really want to be.”

The Cadet Commander competition tested individual cadet commanders’ presence and leadership in leading a platoon (12 cadets plus the commander). “I had never gotten an individual medal in all four years in JROTC,” Conner-Cato said.

The Coyote Pride team also won 1st place in Unarmed Inspection. This required getting into formation. Judges inspect the cadet commander first, then ask three to four questions to each cadet. Questions may be asked from areas of history, current events, first aid, and uniform knowledge.

Cadets pose for a photo with all their trophies.

Judges then inspect cadets’ uniforms for exact measurements and may ask what ribbons mean. They may even have to sing a military song.

Sgt. Major Darrell Luckett has a saying that the drill team adheres to: Trust the Process. “I applaud the Cadets because they “Trust the Process,” Sgt. Major Luckett said. “They bought into the concept of believing that hard work pays off.  Commitment and dedication are essential in a winning formula in order to be successful in not just Drill and Ceremony, but also life itself.”

The drill team will next travel to Daytona Beach, Florida, to compete in the National High School Drill Team Championships from May 6-7.

Rocky Mountain Drill Nationals Results:

  • Unarmed overall – first place
  • Dual armed – first place (Cadet Bradyn Vest & Cadet Christopher Michaelis)
  • Inspection – first place
  • Unarmed Commander – first place (Cadet Imani Conner-Cato)
  • Unarmed Regulation – first place
  • Color Guard – second place
  • Unarmed Exhibition – second place
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