In the early morning hours of Oct. 20, the Hopi JROTC began its Second Annual Lori Piestewa Drill Meet. While half of the people on the Hopi Reservation were still sleeping at 5:30 a.m., the JROTC cadets and supportive parents were ready to start the day. The four schools participating in the competition were Cholla High School, Chinle High School, Sinagua High School and Hopi High School.
The first event of the morning was the 5K run. It consisted of 11 females and 11 males. Lorenzo Kewanyama won the first place prize; he came in at 18 minutes and 55 seconds. Also among them was the youngest runner, Shea Setalla, a nine-year-old from First Mesa Elementary School. She came in at 30 minutes and 36 seconds, and received a trophy for being the youngest participant. Rainell Naha from First Mesa also received a medal for being the most mature runner; she came in at 37 minutes and 36 seconds. The top five males and females that came in, received a medal and all runners received a free T-shirt.
While the 5K run was taking place outside, the marksmanship team was getting ready to compete against Cholla High School. They first started off with practice shots. There was a nervous tension in the air, and everyone was concentrating.
They did the three positions: prone, standing and kneeling. Each position took 15 minutes. When the marksmanship team was done, everyone was breathing a little easier.
Next in line were the drill team and colorguard. Each was ready for their performance, to be held in the gymnasium. The drill team was the first to hit the floor. They did the unarmed regulation first, then the Armed Regulation, and finally, the exhibition.
After the drill team, the colorguard was ready to show what Hopi was all about. They competed against Sinagua High School.
As nervous as all the cadets were, they still managed to do their best. Especially, since family and friends were sitting in the stands ready to support them.
As soon as all activities were done in the gymnasium, everyone was led down to the stadium for the Raiders portion. All four schools participated in this event. The exercises included a one-mile run around the school, the sand bag carry, hurdles, the fireman carry and finally, the rifle carry. Each cadet showed good sportsmanship in these events and thankfully, there were no injuries.
The highlight of the day was the 14th Brigade Commanders Academic Competition. This is a new program spreading across the country in all JROTC programs. It includes portions from reading, writing and mathematics, which is designed to help cadets to prepare for the Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS) exit exam.
The use of the classroom performance system (CPS) technology made it easier to administer the academic competition tests. When it was time for the academic bowl competition, the judges chose five cadets from each school to participate in the competition.
Hopi Chairman Ben Nuvamsa, was invited to observe.
Hopi Jr./Sr. High School was represented by Laila Sabori, Carrie Jones, Victor Begay, Samantha Manycows and J'Mal Lomakema.
Finally, at the end of the invitational meet, everyone reported to the gymnasium one last time. Each school got into formation, and the awards were given out by the Hopi Chairman. Hopi High School received first place in the academic competition, followed by Sinagua High School and Cholla High School.
In addition, first place trophies were given in the following categories: Platoon Drill without arms- Sinagua High School; Platoon Drill with arms- Hopi High School; Exhibition Drill- Chinle High School; Color Guard- Sinagua High School; Raiders Challenge- Sinagua High School; and Marksmanship- Hopi High School. As the Awards Ceremony ended, all competitors and guests said their goodbyes.
The Second Annual Lori Piestewa Drill Meet was a success. The Hopi JROTC looks forward to next year's meet on Oct. 25, 2008.