Adina Mayo – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- The LRHS Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) mens and womens Raiders teams won state championships this weekend.  The competition was held at the Raider State Championship in Lake Wales, FL.

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LRHS JROTC cadets compete in the litter carry.

The teams competed against more than 40 schools and 72 teams.

The competition was hard and achieving first place was no easy feat. Senior Cory Gonzalez, Captain of the Men’s Raider team, commented, “The atmosphere of the competition was bad. We had to sleep on concrete and wood. Many people competed with injuries, so we didn’t think that we would do as well as we did.

“Although some aspects of the competition were negative, we were still able to rise above our competition and place. This just proves how much mental attitude can make a difference. We all tried our best and kept spirits high.”

Junior Conner Lapek, a member of the Men’s Raider team, said, “Losing one of our raiders earlier in the year definitely added inspiration and a greater purpose to the competition.”

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Mustangs cadets run to victory.

LRHS JROTC instructor Lt. Col. Richard Roller stated, “They carried their teammate Abby Rojas’ school ID with them in memory of her. Needless to say, it was an emotional day for everyone.”

Rojas died earlier this year.

Junior Christina Williams, a member of the Women’s Raider team, said, “The atmosphere of the competition was overall a family atmosphere. We all felt close and united as we competed together.”

According to the National Raider Challenge Championship, “Raider Competition or ‘Raider’ as it is more commonly known is a very popular athletic competition held within Junior ROTC programs around the United States. It is the Junior ROTC equivalent of the Army ROTC “Ranger” competition in college, only far less dangerous but very challenging as well.

“Generally…there will be some type of personal fitness/individual strength test (i.e., push-ups, curl-ups, tire drag, obstacle course, etc.) There will also be a distance team running event, along with some type of through the woods obstacle type event, and also some form of rescue/first aid event (rescuing a body from the woods on a liter). Lastly, almost every Raider event has some form of Rope Bridge construction/transport component.”

The mens and womens teams wore their Purple Raider shirts Monday to commemorate their wins.

The champion Mustangs include –
Female Team –
  • Archacki, Angelina
  • Brahler, Kendyl
  • Gonzalez, Rachel
  • Gross, Reagan
  • Jones, Amy
  • Kasten, Carli
  • Kroos-Roberts, Julia
  • Martinez, Angelita
  • Simpson, Nadiya
  • Uribe, Sofia
  • Washington, D’Nasha
  • West, Elise
  • Williams, Christina

Male Team –

  •  Andrews, Garrett
  • Benavidez, David
  • Dine, Alex
  • Durham, Matthew
  • Gonzalez, Cory
  • Grayson, Jace
  • Lapek, Conner
  • Nicholls, Ethan
  • Sapp, Devon
  • Seleska, Lane
  • Stanley, Nicholas
  • Young, Nash

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