Beebe Drill Team Places at National Competition

May 2nd, 2013 | By admin | Category: Education

By Cadet Colonel Kristina McReynolds

Featured from left: (top row) Will Greer, Austin Stevens, Ethan Cranford, Caelen Cockrum, Kristina McReynolds, Taylor Spears, Caleb Gentry, Tanner Matone, Kelsey Sutter. (bottom row) Madison Finley, Anna Spikes, Alphonso Ramirez, Dustin Jethro, Stephane Benton, Allie Weeks.

Featured from left: (top row) Will Greer, Austin Stevens, Ethan Cranford, Caelen Cockrum, Kristina McReynolds, Taylor Spears, Caleb Gentry, Tanner Matone, Kelsey Sutter. (bottom row) Madison Finley, Anna Spikes, Alphonso Ramirez, Dustin Jethro, Stephane Benton, Allie Weeks.

On April 13, 2013, Beebe High School AFJROTC Drill Team competed at the National Invitational Drill Meet hosted by the cadets of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.  This marked the first-time a Beebe drill team participated at a nationally ranked competition.  Selected to attend the prestigious competition were fifteen seasoned drill veterans, whose drill itineraries this year included Denton, Texas; Batesville, Mississippi; and Branson, Missouri.  With only a month’s preparation, each cadet dedicated themselves to not only practicing, but also fundraising for the competition.  They conducted a car wash and received generous donations from throughout the local community.

Once at the Air Force Academy, the Beebe team competed against much larger high schools from across the nation, as well as college ROTC programs from Brigham Young University and the University of Colorado at Boulder.  The competition’s winner, C. E. King High School from Houston, Texas boasted a school population twice as large as Beebe High School and a drill team with over 50 cadets.  Beebe was truly a David among many Goliaths.  Such competition provided a tougher event than any other ever encountered by the cadets.  Judges left nothing unnoticed, from the smallest of details in uniform inspection to the slightest imperfections in precision drill movements.  Beebe drill members won their first national-level trophy by placing 3rd in Unarmed Regulation. This formation, commanded by senior cadet Kristina McReynolds, earned 161 out of 170 points possible.

The drill competition marked the end of stellar JROTC careers for five senior cadets:  Cadet Colonel Kristina McReynolds, Cadet Lt Colonel Tanner Matone, Cadet Lt Colonel Austin Stevens, Cadet Lt Colonel Madison Finley and Cadet First Lieutenant William Greer.  Major Tim Jones, the program’s instructor, commented, “As freshmen, each of the seniors dreamed of taking their team to a national-level competition.  SMSgt Trout and I were skeptical for the first couple of years, but as we watched the hard work, determination and sacrifice of this team, we became believers.  It’s an honor to be associated with such outstanding young leaders.  They represent Beebe High School and the city of Beebe in remarkable fashion.”  Corps Commander, Cadet Colonel Kristina McReynolds, believes competing at the national level is the just a beginning for the Corps.  “We seniors are handing the reigns over to a determined group of juniors.  I’m sure they plan on going back next year.”  The team also received tremendous support from parents throughout the year.  “We could not have achieved such a milestone without the incredible support of Doug Gentry, Dr. Chad Matone, along with Bruce and Liz McReynolds, and others, who volunteered their time and resources to make this trip a successful reality,” said Major Jones.