Elkin Raiders place well in ‘Best of Best’

By Wendy Byerly Wood

April 4, 2014

RIDGEWAY, Va. — The Elkin HS JROTC Raider team competed in the “Best of the Best Raider Competition” in Ridgeway at Magna Vista High School last Saturday, with 23 other high schools from Virginia and North Carolina.

It was the first time that Elkin’s Raider team competed among the best teams in the 4th Brigade. The 4th Brigade is headquartered in Fort Bragg, N.C.

Members of the Elkin Raider A team are Walker Longworth, Aaron Sturdavant, John Walker, Daniel Cortez, Marco Bravo, Grant Lloyd, Kali Thomas, Erick Fuentes and Luis Anorve. The alternates were Kylie Thomas, Michael Carter and Karla Fuentes.

The raiders departed Elkin High School at 4:30 in the morning and stopped at McDonald’s for some breakfast to energize them for the long day ahead.

The first event after the hour-and-a-half bus ride was the army physical fitness test. It consisted of two minutes of push-ups, two minutes of sit-ups and a mile run. This was then followed immediately by a 5K team road march which the team did in 23 minutes.

The litter carry was the next event which measured both physical strength and endurance. The litter carry required the team to carry an army stretcher with 120 pounds tied to the top of the stretcher over a rugged terrain course. The Elkin raiders executed the course in 2 minutes and 42 seconds; proving they were one of the strongest teams.

The logistic relay measured the cadets on their ability to carry a 50-pound ammo box around a lake after crossing the lake in a row boat. The cadets recorded a sizzling time of 3 minutes and 9 seconds.

The final challenge was for the raiders to build a one-rope bridge over a dried out river bed. They worked diligently together and built and crossed the bridge in 5 minutes and 29 seconds.

The team finished 12th out of the 23 best teams in North Carolina and Virginia.

Maj. Roy Ferguson and 1st Sgt. Kenneth Abrams, the JROTC instructors at Elkin, both agreed it is exciting to see Elkin cadets working hard and very interested in their Raider program.

Ferguson said, “First Sgt. Abrams and myself are proud to have established a Raider team this year and committed to their future excellence. We need to continue to recruit good cadets into our program.”