Wednesday May 22, 2013
North Salem JROTC Excels At Pacific Northwest Drill and Rifle ChampionshipsSalem-News.com
Vikings compete against best Color Guards and Drill Teams from three states, now head to nationals.
(SALEM) - North Salem High School's Army JROTC unit, the Viking Battalion, went head to head with the top thirty-one teams from Oregon and Washington and added more honors to its already impressive list Saturday, April 22nd.
Competing against the top drill teams and color guards in Oregon and Washington at the Pacific Northwest Regional Drill and Rifle Conference championship meet at Mountain View High School in Bend, all four of North's teams finished fifth place or higher.
Color Guard A, commanded by senior Francisco Garibay, finished in second place in the tough "Color Guard #1" category.
North Salem 's color guard has now finished in first or second place in this event for five consecutive years.
The color guard will represent Salem and Oregon at the National High School Drill Team Championships in Daytona Beach, Florida on May 5.
Color Guard B, commanded by senior Brittanie Heimer, finished in third place in the "Color Guard 2" category.
North Salem's color guards are widely known in the Salem Keizer School District and the Salem community for their teamwork and precision.
In addition to their competitive schedule, North's color guards make over fifty public appearances a year.
The Unarmed Drill Team, also commanded by Brittanie Heimer, finished in third place. This team, consisting of nineteen cadets from all classes, put on their best performance to date and finished among the top teams in the Northwest for the third year in a row.
Brittanie finished in third place among commanders.
The Armed Drill Team, commanded by senior Justin Stuart, finished in fifth place. This team consisted of sixteen Vikings from all classes.
After outstanding performances in the inspection and regulation drill phases, Justin's team earned high scores from the judges and applause from the spectators with its signature "Slaps and Taps" exhibition routine.
In individual competition, sophomore Tyler Hills finished third in the armed drill down. North Salem finished in third place in the overall standings, the Viking's highest finish in eight years of competition.
Brittanie Heimer, who is also the commander of the Viking Battalion, said "It has been a very emotional weekend for the seven graduating seniors. It is hard to fathom that we will not be part of the elite team that we have grown so close to over the years. But we are proud to have left our mark and gone out with a bang."
To get to the championship meet, North had to compete in a grueling schedule of drill meets from January through March in Yakima and Spokane, Washington, Prineville, Oregon, and here at North Salem. Practices are held throughout the school year in the North Salem gymnasium at 6:15 AM.
Lieutenant Colonel Dwight Morse, the coach of North's drill teams and color guards, said, "Of the thirty-seven schools in the conference, only six qualified all of their teams, and only three scored points in every event. North Salem is in this elite group.
This is a great tribute to the commitment and dedication of our cadets. We start practice in September and finish in mid-May, which requires great mental and physical stamina. I am very proud of all the team members.
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