JROTC teams win Saturday

Published 9:01 am Friday, April 29, 2016

SLIDELL-—Bogalusa High School’s two Amry JROTC teams did well at their first competitive events on Saturday.

All morning, the Bogalusa Alpha and Bravo Raider teams competed in Slidell against teams from other area schools. The teams had to build a rope bridge and cross a small stream, run an obstacle course and run a cross-country rescue operation with a stretcher.

Colonel Gavin Guidry said Team Alpha won first place overall in the boys’ category, and Team Bravo won first in the mixed overall competition.

“In individual competition, our team alpha and bravo finished first in every category individually,” said Guidry.

The wins are significant because the teams are young and the competition event itself was significant because this is the first time area JROTC teams have competed. Saturday’s competition was dubbed the Northshore Raider Competition, and the skills it tested mirror those skills honed in Army Ranger training.

After area competition, the teams can go on to compete at the state level and then at the national championship in Georgia later this year.

But Guidry said the competition is more than about winning.

“No. 1, it’s for the cadets to have a good time and learn valuable skills,” he said. “They’re learning first aid, teamwork and technical skills. With the rope bridge, for example, they’re learning knots and how to cross obstacles safely.”

The rope bridge consisted of a single line tied off to two trees on either side of the small stream. Each team member has also fashioned a rope into a harness, and once the line is secure, the team members then clip a carabiner that’s attached to their harness to the line and they shimmy across the stream, several feet off the water.

“The knots they’re learning, they can use them for anything in life,” said Guidry.

Each of two Bogalusa teams had 10 students each, and all of the students seemed thrilled to be spending Saturday morning in the woods in Slidell.

“It’s a nice way to get in shape and get fit,” said Christopher Mason.

Other members echoed that sentiment.

“It’s a good workout, and now I know how to tie a few knots,” said Devonte Jackson