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thedrifter
04-07-09, 08:11 AM
Gloucester JROTC students take new steps toward nationals

By Andrea Holbrook
Staff Writer


Forty Gloucester High School students spent the weekend in Pennsylvania at a drill team competition.

The students, enrolled in the Marines Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps, came home with a win and some placings to move them forward when they compete in a national contest next month.

Drill competitions test the student cadets' precision, discipline and attention to detail in a series of different marching formations.

"We did great — the freshmen, first-year cadets, came in first place," said Richard Muth, senior Marine instructor and leader of the Gloucester Junior ROTC program. The girls unarmed team, meaning the teens don't carry rifles, placed second in their division, while the boys armed team placed third in their division. He said the teens are mostly freshmen and sophomores.

"This tells us where we're at, what we need to do get ready," Muth said, adding that all the teams entered in the Pennsylvania competition, a regional contest, are also going to next month's national contest. " We now know where we fit in, what we did well, and what we need to work on to get better. These placing were really good for such a young team."

Up next for JROTC drill team are some fund-raisers before its members head to Florida in May for the Nationals. The team will be on the road a day each way, and will compete three days in Daytona Beach before officer judges from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, Muth said.

"We need another $4,000 to get there. We've done really good, raising $16,000, so that's where we sitting right now," Muth said. The cadets needed to raise a total of $20,000 for the Pennsylvania trip and to travel to Florida next month.

Tomorrow night is the first fund-raiser from 4 to 9 p.m. at Papa Gino's. The restaurant will donate 20 percent of its sales, including takeout orders, to JROTC. Delivered orders, however, won't count.

Participants need to turn in a flier with their order for the sale to qualify. Fliers are available from the cadets, or by calling Kathy at 9780-768-7033 or Gunner at 978-281-9870.

A second fund-raiser will be a spaghetti dinner at Gloucester High School on April 17, the details of which will be announced.

Donations may also be made by check payable to "GHS Marine JROTC" and sent to CWO-3 Richard Muth, care of Gloucester High School, Leslie O. Johnson Road, Gloucester, MA 01930.

Andrea Holbrook may be contacted at aholbrook@gloucestertimes.com.

Ellie