The White County High School JROTC Raider squads ended their fall season last weekend with a pair of stellar performances against teams from around the country.
The Raiders' mixed team posted an eighth-place finish at the U. S. Army Raider Nationals, while the male team was 11th at the All-Service Raider Nationals. Both events were held at Gerald Lawhorn Boy Scout Camp in Molena in Pike County.
In the U.S. Army Raider Nationals, 51 schools from 19 states competed in the three divisions – male, female, and mixed.. Along with Georgia, the competition included teams from Virginia, Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Texas, North Carolina, Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, West Virginia, Missouri, Pennsylvania, California, Hawaii, Wisconsin and Nevada.
The Warrior squad was one of 27 teams in the mixed division. The competition featured five events – rope bridge, gauntlet, cross country rescue, 5K team run, and physical team test.
Members of the mixed team are Mackenzie Wilson (Commander), Sean Wurtz, Dalton Roberts, Tori McDuffie, Luke Eldridge, Noah Wood, Skylar Bassett, Riley Egerton, Kobey Cross, Katie Woodham, and Mikayla Rewis.
The team run was up and down a mountain with rough terrain to test the endurance of each Raider member, while the rope bridge had to be constructed over a river. The gauntlet featured an obstacle course, with the Raiders required to move equipment over walls and through culverts.
The physical team test is a sprinting event that requires the athletes to move 20 pieces of equipment through various mazes and tunnels, while the cross country rescue required each cadet to crawl through mud in 40-degree weather.
Leavenworth High School, Kan., won the national championship, finishing in the Top 3 in all five categories. Mariner, Fla., was second, followed by Georgia Military College Prep School, Hobart, Ind., and Marion, Ind., to round out the Top 5. Ozark, Mo., was sixth, with Elbert County seventh and White County finishing eighth. Sarasota Military Academy, Fla., and Waynesville, Mo., completed the Top 10.
The WCHS squad finished seventh in a pair of events – cross country rescue (11:55.19) and physical team test (3:55.28), and were eighth in the gauntlet (8:25.63). The team finished 12th in both the 5K team run (31:27.00) and the rope bridge (3:39.52)
White County and Elbert County were two of five Georgia schools in the event, along with Adairsville, Cedar Shoals, and Grayson.
The WCHS male team posted a 12th place finish in the All-Service Raider Nationals last Friday, competing against 21 teams from nine different states. Along with five other teams from Georgia – Riverside Military Academy, Benedictine, North Forsyth, North Gwinnett, and Rutland – the field included student-athletes from Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi. Kentucky, Delaware, California, Kansas, and New York.
Members of the male team are Jacob Murray, Nathan Maxwell, Luke Bass, Caleb Daniel, Domingo Juan, Jaxon Garrison, Ashton Dove, Tristin Glass, Griffin DeFoor, Gavin Eldridge, Bobby Wolfe, and Lukas Sullivan.
The All-Service competition included four events – physical team test, 5K team run, gauntlet, and rope bridge. Riverside Military Academy from Gainesville took top honors in the male division, winning all four events.
The Warriors top finish came in the rope bridge with a ninth-place showing. WCHS finished 10th in the gauntlet, 11th in the 5K run, and 14th in the physical team test. The Warriors were fourth among the Georgia schools in the field, Riverside, Benedictine (7th overall) and North Forsyth (8th).
On Sunday, the event wrapped up with the Ultimate Raider Competition. Each team can enter one male and one female in the competition, which features a 1.7-mile run with a ruck on a course that includes a low crawl and a wall. The female competitors are allowed to drop the ruck half-way through the race. Luke Eldridge and Tori McDuffie represented White County in the event, with Eldridge finishing fourth with a time of 11:31, and McDuffie was 12th in the female division with a time of 15:14.
The national competitions were the final events for the senior members of the teams – Jacob Murray, Dalton Roberts, Sean Wurtz, and Mackenzie Wilson.