Seven Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Color Guard and Drill Teams from the seven Collier County high schools went head to head at the annual Collier County JROTC Color Guard and Drill Championship Meet on March 10. This year it was hosted by Lely High School. The teams were judged in the following categories for both male and female teams: Color Guard, Platoon Regulation, both Armed and Unarmed; Platoon Exhibition, both Armed and Unarmed; Platoon Squad Regulation, both Armed and Unarmed; Individual and Dual Exhibition, both Armed and Unarmed.
Lely High School JROTC entered a team in each of the 18 events, placing in every category; 16 first place, four second place, and two third place trophies were award to the Lely Trojans!
The overall team trophies went to the following schools: First place, Lely High School; second place, Naples High School;
third place, Palmetto Ridge High School; fourth place, Golden Gate High School.
The top two or three winners of the different categories will continue to the state JROTC drill meet on April 14 in Lakeland, where they will compete with schools from all over the state.
Standout Lely High School senior and Marco Island Eagle Scout, Ricky Grootveld, achieved first place in all of his categories he participated in: Platoon Squad Exhibition, Platoon Regulation, Individual Exhibition and his Dual Exhibition (with fellow cadet and Marco Island resident) Creston Wood.
Chief Warrant Officer Michael Harp, Senior Army Instructor for the Lely High School JROTC program stated “The young Cadets that I and Master Sergeant Santiago mentor daily at Lely High School remind me what the Army JROTC values of citizenship, leadership, self-determination and bettering yourself are all about. I am truly blessed to be part of the evolving lives of our youth (at Lely High School)!”
The Lely High School JROTC program has assisted hundreds of students over the past few years in obtaining college and career scholarships and opportunities. For more information on its programs, go to http://www.collier.k12.fl.us/lhs/.