Official News & Information: Army ROTC

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National Raider Challenge raises three JROTC programs to top

with 6 comments

By George Whitley
U.S. Army Cadet Command

FORT MONROE,Va. — Three Army JROTC programs captured the top prizes at the recent National Raider Challenge Championship.

Smith-Cotton High School in Missouri won the mixed division. Francis Lewis High School in New York topped the female division, and Paulding County High School in Georgia took the male division title.

The third annual two-day competition, held last month at the Gerald I. Lawhorn Scouting Base in Molena, Ga., featured a record 64 teams representing 35 high schools from around the country. Cadets participating were from Army, Navy and Marine Corps programs.

Smith-Cotton edged out Jenkins County High School of Georgia in the mixed division (teams consist of boys and girls), winning three of the five competition categories and finishing second in the other two. Campbell High School, another entry from Georgia, took third overall.

Cadet Earl Manuel, commander of the Smith-Cotton squad, said the victory was significant.

“This was a great experience for all the Cadets on the Smith-Cotton team,” he said. “We put Sedalia, Mo., on the map with this win.”

The team’s success stemmed from the Cadets’ drive, its coach said.

“Our Smith-Cotton team worked hard every day to become this year’s raider national champion,” said retired Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Bush, the team’s coach. “Our staff and the local community are very proud of the team and what they have accomplished.”

In the female division, this particular group of Francis Lewis High School Cadets had only been working together for a couple of months. Considering their inexperience, the win stunned the team’s coach, retired Master Sgt. Pete Rompf.

“Every night I’m laying in bed saying, ‘We won,’ ” he said. “I still can’t believe it. It was the biggest thrill for me since I’ve been here.”

Grissom High School of Huntsville, Ala., placed second in the female division, with Richmond Hill High School, of Richmond Hill, Ga., third.

Coming in behind Paulding County High School, of Dallas, Ga., in the male division were Francis Lewis High School, which was second, and Grissom High School, which took third.

The various events Cadets competed in included a physical fitness test, a 5K run, a gauntlet course which each team had to work its way through; a cross-country rescue and a rope-bridge obstacle.

Justin Gates, competition director from Sports Network International, which annually organizes the competition, called this year’s event “exceptional in every aspect.”

“We want to make the raider nationals something every school with a raider program will want to attend,” he said.

Full results and photos of the National Raider Challenge are at:


Written by CadetCommandPAO

December 9, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Posted in News

6 Responses

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  1. Really enjoyed the site 🙂

    acai jones

    January 21, 2010 at 5:33 am

  2. im part of the raider program montgomery county.
    Ive been looking for some raider competitions and would like to know if you could help.


    January 28, 2010 at 6:11 pm

  3. reallllllly need a more raider competitions, need help finding some. I from NWHS Clarkville,TN ( montgomary county)

    sean clifford

    March 4, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    • Talk to your instructor about finding Raider competitions. Maybe he or she can send the word out that you’re looking for a competition to join …


      March 5, 2010 at 11:09 am

    • Sean,
      I would suggest seeing if you SAI or AI can contact LTC (Ret) Phil Baker at Stephens County High School in Toccoa, GA. There are a few teams from Tennessee that would come to GA competitions and LTC Baker would always bring us to Cedar Shoals in TN when he was at Paulding County High School. Cedar Shoals was one of the more challenging meets. Also, the GA State Meet (that determines the GA ranking of raider teams to advance to higher levels) always welcomed teams from AL and TN to compete. Whether or not their entry was official (able to truly rank) or as “just for fun”, I cannot remember.
      Good luck,
      Cadet Major (Graduated ’07) Jason C.

      paulding county cadet major

      March 22, 2010 at 3:55 am

  4. Hendersonville High School Marine Corps JROTC hosts a FULL-BLOWN Raider Meet the 1st weekend in October. This 2010 meet will be 1-3 Oct 2010 at Boxwell Boy Scout Camp, outside Nashville, Tennessee. The events are Secret Event, Rope Bridge (98′ all WATER), Obstacle Course 1/4 mile, Cross Country Rescue Course 1/4 mile, Crucible Course, Rappelling Tower/Knot Test, Land Navigation Course w/ Land Nav. written test, and last but not least, an Iron Mike Test. Contact me if you do not have my LOI. Sounds too good to be true? Come and find out for yourself. Paulding County, Georgia, seemed to think it’s pretty good. My office phone is 615-972-9454. MSGT Tim Clenney, SMI, Hendersonville HS MCJROTC, Hendersonville, Tennessee.

    MSGT Tim Clenney

    March 16, 2010 at 5:09 pm

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