Leavenworth drill team wins national championship
A team of Junior ROTC cadets from Leavenworth High School has won a national championship.
An all-female group known as the Cavalry Angels captured the overall unarmed drill team championship this past weekend at the National High School Drill Team Championships in Daytona Beach, Florida, said retired Maj. Kenneth Scillieri.
Scillieri is the senior Army instructor for the JROTC program at Leavenworth High School.
“I’m so happy for these girls,” Scillieri said. “They have put in so much time, work.”
He said members of the team had been practicing since the start of the school year.
Sixteen members of the Cavalry Angels made the trip to Florida for the competition.
The annual competition is open to teams from across the country representing JROTC programs for all branches of the armed forces. Leavenworth High School’s JROTC program is affiliated with the Army.
The Leavenworth students competed in multiple events Saturday.
“They placed in every single event and won the overall drill team championship,” Scillieri said.
He said the students were graded on their precision, accuracy and synchronization. The judges were active-duty members of the military.
The Leavenworth students left by bus Wednesday morning for the competition. They arrived at Daytona Beach on Thursday afternoon.
“Friday was really a practice day for us, and we competed Saturday,” Scillieri said.
He said the team received multiple trophies during an awards ceremony Saturday.
The trophy for the overall national championship stands 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighs about 30 pounds.
In addition to the overall championship, the team finished in first place in a regulation drill competition.
A Leavenworth student, Aubrey Williams, finished in first place in a contest for top commander. She serves as the commander of the Cavalry Angels’ regulation team.
Maddie Hadock serves as commander of the entire Cavalry Angels group.
Leavenworth students had second-place finishes in an inspection competition and squad level and platoon level exhibition events. Leavenworth students finished in fifth place in a color guard event.
Scillieri said the Cavalry Angels won the overall championship in the masters level competition. He said this is the highest of the two divisions for the National High School Drill Team Championships.
The Leavenworth students left Daytona Beach on Sunday and arrived back in Leavenworth on Monday.
Scillieri said members of the Pioneer Guard, an armed coed drill team from Leavenworth High School, also traveled to the National High School Drill Team Championships and placed in multiple events.
“They did excellent as well,” he said.