Masters of drill: Wiesbaden Warrior drill team defends title, farewells Air Force competition
Melanie Solo leads the Wiesbaden drill team off the floor after presenting its unarmed exhibition routine March 3 at the Wiesbaden High School during the European Air Force/Navy JROTC Drill Competition.

WIESBADEN, Germany - Dressed in Army green, the Wiesbaden High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps drill beat out 11 teams throughout Europe to defend its title of champion of the Air Force/Navy JROTC Drill Competition this year.
Wiesbaden hosted the event in the high school and middle school gyms March 3 as its farewell to competing in the Air Force competition.
The JROTC program switched from Air Force to Army this year, but the team decided to compete one last year in the Air Force competition because many of the team members were seniors who were accustomed to the Air Force competition, Foote said.
Dakota Hendrix, a senior who has been on the school's drill team for four years, said winning the championship was a dream come true.
"You work all year long, and no one knows what you're doing, and then you have five minutes to prove yourself," Hendrix said. "There's a lot of stress."
Mhairi Terra, a senior who has been on the drill team for three years, said she has enjoyed working with everyone on the team toward a common goal -- making dynamic synchronized precision movements with teammates during routines.
Melanie Solo, who commanded the unarmed team that won first place in that division by delivering a dynamic and creative routine, said this was her third year on the team.
When coming up with moves for the routine, she said she borrowed from previous years' routines, based on what was successful.
Next year the team will face at least one additional format challenge with the switch to Army drill routines, Solo said. Air Force routines must be between five to seven minutes long, while Army routines must be between seven to 10 minutes long, she said.
Retired Army Col. Darryl W. Hensley, who heads the Wiesbaden JROTC program, said he was impressed with the drill team cadets this year.
"We were 2011 defending drill team champions as an Air Force JROTC program and 2012 drill team champions as an Army JROTC program, which is a first in the history of this sport," Hensley said.
In addition to winning the overall competition, the Warriors were awarded as follows: First place for Armed Competition; second for Color Guard; first for Saber Exhibition; first for Unarmed Exhibition; Dakota Hendrix won Best Armed Team Commander; Mhairi Terra for Best Saber Team Commander; Melanie Solo for Best Unarmed Team Commander; Alex Craven received 10th place in the Infantry Drill Regulation knock-out drill.

Page last updated Wed March 14th, 2012 at 03:53