Hard work brings rewards. The Springboro High Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) worked hard this past school year, and as a result won the 33rd annual Air Force JROTC Drill Meet State Championship this past April, and the National High School Drill Team Championship this past May. They were rewarded again on Sept. 27 with an invitation to the Statehouse in Columbus for the 132nd Assembly of the Ohio Senate.
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State Senator Steve Wilson (R-Maineville) recognized their achievement.
“It is a great pleasure to recognize the Springboro High School Air Force Junior ROTC Panther Drill Team as national champions,” said Sen. Wilson. “The team’s dedication and hard work has surely paid off in a tremendous way, and I am proud to represent such a fine group of young Ohioans.”
Sen. Wilson represents the 7th District of the Ohio Senate that encompasses Warren County, and a portion of Butler and Hamilton counties.
Prior to the session, a resolution was adopted by members of the Senate to commemorate the drill team’s accomplishments. Sen. Wilson presented Cadet Group Commander Brittany Massey with a framed certificate of the Resolution.
Massey explained the sacrifices that are made to achieve both state and national recognition.
“(Working hard) is a big factor; we practice almost every day and that dedication has definitely carried us a long way,” said Massey, who plans to attend Bowling Green State University. “But the core of our success is that we’re a family. This team is composed of amazing cadets that want to be successful in order to bring one another up. Working toward a goal because you want your teammates to reach their full potential has carried us further than any of us could have gone as individuals.”
Springboro and Lebanon won the lion’s share of points at the Air Force State Championship. Springboro’s grand total was 133, and Lebanon came in second with 111 total points. The other nine teams received 128 points collectively.
For the national championship in Daytona Beach, Fla., Springboro finished in first, second and third place in separate categories at the Challenge Level to earn 4,597 points overall against 26 other teams. The second-place finisher was North Salem High School’s JROTC in Oregon with 4,547 points.
Sen. Wilson also recognized former Drill Team Commander Tyler Johannssen for winning the Unarmed Commander’s Trophy at the All-Service National Championships. Johannssen received a Certificate of Outstanding Attainment at the 132nd Assembly.
“When I found out I had won the Commander’s Trophy at the all-service nationals it was a huge surprise,” said Johannssen. “My focus wasn’t on winning an individual award; it was focused on my team and myself putting on the best performance we could.”
He is currently a freshman majoring in aviation engineering technology at Bowling Green State University and is enrolled in the Air Force ROTC. He’s working to gain a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and qualify as a pilot.
“The members of Springboro High School JROTC Drill Team are a very impressive group of young men and women,” said Michael Thiergart, MSgt, USAF (ret.) Aerospace science instructor/drill team advisor. “Representing Springboro High School and Air Force JROTC at the National High School Championships was a great honor; being named the Champion over 26 other exceptional programs throughout the United States is a great accomplishment. We can’t be any prouder of all our cadets … and how they represent our school and community.”
Contact this contributing writer at PamDillon@woh.rr.com.