It was a beautiful frosty morning on Saturday, April 21st when the Wayne County High School JROTC Raider team arrived at Fort Boonesborough, along with 16 other schools from Kentucky and Ohio to compete in this year’s Raider Invitational Competition. However, it did not take long for the Wayne County
Cadets to warm up.
After the opening ceremony to start the events, the Wayne County Raiders first challenge for the day was the One Rope Bridge event. This event is one of the most popular and competitive events at every Raider meet. Requiring precision timing and teamwork, while installing a rope across a span 50 feet or more over a water obstacle and getting the entire team across the rope in the least amount of time. The Cardinal Raiders were able to perform this event with a time of two minutes and eight seconds. A very good time for this activity and a time that would earn the team a second place overall finish for this event.
From the One Rope Bridge, the team headed to the Physical Fitness Relay Courses (PFRC). The course required each cadet to perform a crab walk, backwards run, uphill run, squats, another uphill run up steps, a water jug carry, a ten burpee exercise and close out the event with a fifty-meter sprint.
“This event was absolutely exhausting,” said Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Taylor Bell. “It sure was,” said his team mates as they tried to regain their breath from the physically draining event. A few of the team members even gave up their breakfast, an indication they had given 100 percent and then some while performing. As tough as the PFRC was the day was just beginning and the team had four other events to perform.
To keep things moving the Raiders headed to an equally grueling event, The “Mountain Trek”. True to its name, this event requires an extremely exhausting climb up the hill from the Kentucky River to Fort Boonesborough and down the same hill while carrying a weighted gurney with a simulated casualty. As if the climb up the hill along a rocky winding trail was not enough, each team member was burdened with carrying ammo crates and simulated rifles. They also had to squeeze through, go over and under challenging obstacles along the route and hope they did not receive any penalties. To close out the event the team had another full out sprint to the finish.
Although breathing heavy after the event Cadet CSM Trent McGuire said, “I think we did very well on this event.”
“We gave all we had,” said Cadet Zeth Denney as he seemed to be nursing an injury from the exceptionally grueling course.
After completing their first three events, the Cadets had a short, but well deserved rest break and lunch. Then they began their final three events that included: a Mystery Event, Map and Geography Test, and one of the team’s favorite events the Raider River Trek.
“Everything we do is not just physical “said Cadet Major Adrian Martin. “Map and Geography is an important skill we learn as Raiders.”
After the Map and Geography test the cadets completed the Mystery event in just under twelve minutes, which would earn the team a third place finish overall for this event.
As if they could not wait, the team then headed for the Raider River Trek event. This event equals the PFRC and Mountain Trek in physicality and requires even more teamwork, if the team expects to finish without penalties and a low time. The team blasted through the River Trek obstacles which included a boat carry, equipment carry, sit ups with a heavy log, tire flip, river crossing where the cadets had to wade through a section of the river, low crawl with equipment, a spider web event, and an uphill climb to the finish line, while carrying all the equipment. The teams’ exceptional performance in the River Trek earned a third place finish for the day.
Placing second overall on the Physical Fitness Relay Course, second on the One Rope Bridge event, third on the Mystery Event and third on the Raider River Trek allowed the team enough points to finish second overall for the competition. Especially noteworthy was the team missed being first overall, by only one point. Disappointing for the cadets to be so close to finishing first, but nevertheless a great victory for the Cardinal Cadets.
Cadets competing at Boonesborough included, Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Taylor Bell, C/Major Harley Baldwin, Cadet/Major Adrian Martin, C/CSM Trent McGuire, C/SSG Ziyon Deboer, C/PVT Brooklynn Bray, C/SSG Tyler Cassada, C/ 1SG Cameron Walters, C/PV2 Leah Ramsey, C/1LT Ethan Morrow, C/CPT Wesley Weston, and C/CPL Zeth Denney. The outstanding team alternates and support team members included C/SFC Daniel Ward, C/PVT Logan Vaughn, C/PVT Keisha Brown, and C/PVT Sierra Stacy.
“Besides our terrific cadets, we also appreciate the many parents, grandparents and other boosters who traveled to support the Raider Team,” said 1SG (RET) George L. Snyder, Raider Team instructor.
For Cadets Lieutenant Colonel Taylor Bell, Cadet Major Harley Baldwin, Cadet Captain Wesley Weston and Cadet Command Sergeant Major Trent McGuire this would be their last official Raider competition before they graduate and close out their high school JROTC career.
“Obviously this was an emotional day for our senior cadets” said 1SG Snyder. “Each one of them have contributed immeasurably to the Raider Team. They have poured their hearts into making the JROTC Raider Team an elite team known throughout our region. We thank them for their efforts, devotion to duty, their leadership, mentorship and enduring love for the Cardinal Battalion. These young men are true examples of what our teenage Americans can be.”
“Raiders lead the way…Hooah,” concluded 1 SG Snyder.
Cadet Private Brooklynn Bray and fellow cadets prepare for Bridge Team competition.
Blindfolded cadets Taylor Bell and Adrian Martin negotiate the maze while Trent McGuire guides them in the Challenge Maze event.
(l-r) Adrian Martin, Zijon Deboer, Harley Baldwin, Brooklynn Bray and Taylor Bell perform log sit ups during the River Trek.
Raider cadets ready for the low crawl competition at the River Trek.
Raider Team cadets pose with the trophies the team earned
Senior cadets on the Raider Team included: Cadet LTC Taylor Bell, Cadet CPT Wesley Weston, Cadet CSM Trent McGuire, Cadet MAJ Harley Baldwin displaying trophies regarding their second place overall finish. Cadet Daniel Ward held the team guide on.