By: Dylan Cella

The Blazers are known as the Ultimate Adventure team in JROTC around Caddo Parish. They train constantly to be the best they possibly can. When they are in a team setting, all their skills flow together in unison, unable to be stopped. This year, they were put to the test at the Raider National Championships.

The Raider National Championship was held in Molena, Georgia. Schools from all around the country come to compete in this one event, even schools from Hawaii! The Blazers trained month after month, day in and day out for this challenging battle among schools. After months of training, the Blazers were finally ready. The very beginning of the day started with the rope bridge. A rope bridge is suspended from two trees over a water obstacle to get a team across, and the whole thing is timed. The Blazers did pretty well in this event and didn’t get any penalties. However, a majority of the team got soaked from hitting the water. The rope bridge was most of the team’s favorite part because, “it was a great way to start off the day and it was definitely a wake up call.” The team completed and crossed the rope bridge in 4:28. The next challenge was called the Gauntlet. The Gauntlet was an endurance based challenge. It was a grueling 1 mile obstacle course which consisted of an elevated tire the whole team had to get through, and 8 ft wall, two 10 ft long 2 ft high tubes, then a 400 meter run. All of this and four 35 lbs rucksacks and two 45 lbs ammo crates. The Blazers were able to conquer this competition. “This by far was my favorite event because it pushed me to my limits and tested our teamwork skills,” said Robert Pittenger. The next competition was called the PTT. The PTT consisted of a 50 meter dash with 35 lbs water cans, then a sprint over to a platform you have to jump over.

Next was another sprint to a single file line maze which led to a run through tires. After the tires, the team had to grab a 400 lbs canoe and run 50 meters with it. After that was all said and done, they had to do it all in reverse. The next event was the 5k. The 5k was straight up a giant hill, then all the way back down. The day started catching up with the Blazers, so everyone was fatigued. However, the Blazers still gave it their all to finish the run. The final competition was the toughest they had to face. It was Cross Country Rescue. The team had to get over an 8ft wall, then go through a 20ft mud pit. After that the Blazers had to run a mile to a low crawl, then they could pass the finish line. During this competition, they also had to carry six 35 lbs rucksacks and one 95 lbs stretcher. The Blazers gave it their all on this competition and finished as a team. Their team motto is One Team, One Unit, and they live by that. Sebastian Porreca said, “It was definitely challenging, but I would for sure do it again.” They put in every last drop of effort and determination they had left to finish the whole competition strong.

        All the Blazers had an amazing time and did a great job; the entire team agrees they would do it again. The Blazers have the motivation and dedication to dominate at Nationals; all they need now is a little bit more training and they will be winning nation-wide.