CNHS NJROTC: 10 Year Consecutive Champions

CNHS NJROTC: 10 Year Consecutive Champions

Jazlyn Valentin

On January 28th, 2023, Colts Neck High School’s NJROTC Academy competed at the annual Area 4 Competition. One of the biggest competitions of the year, the cadets competed with other schools across the coast, including: Virginia, New York, Connecticut, and Maryland. Despite the competition, the cadets rose up to the challenge and won for the 10th consecutive year. 

The Area 4 competition comprises a multitude of events: drill (unarmed and armed), color guard, athletics (push ups, curl ups, and a relay), uniform inspection, and academics. Each event is completed back to back, with little breaks in between.

In the drill competition, there are 4 different events: unarmed exhibition, unarmed regulation, armed exhibition, and armed regulation. In unarmed exhibition, the girls perform a choreographed and rehearsed routine, consisting of a variety of step movements in military formation. There is room to be creative as they switch up basic drill regulation with hand movements, creating succinct sound effects. Armed exhibition is very similar to the unarmed team, however, armed exhibition uses rifles. While executing basic drill movements, they enhance it with rifle spinning and other complex movements. In addition to exhibition, there’s the foundation of it: basic drill, or regulation. As previously mentioned, drill is where the cadets march around in military formation, executing a set list of commands.The team succeeded in taking 2nd place in drill.

In academics, cadets take a 50 question test in 50 minutes—similar to an academic decathlon. Abigail Polyanski, the captain of the academic team and a current Senior, studies almost every morning with the team to make sure they are prepared to ace the test. Here, they placed second!

The most exciting event out of all of them is arguably PT (physical training). Here, the cadets do push ups as well as curl ups to an “up down cadence.” If while they are conducting the push ups/curl ups and they go out of cadence, or their form is not correct, the judges will ask them to stop. In addition, a relay race took place. Colts Neck High School is known nationally  for their athletics, so it doesn’t come to a surprise that they won 1st place for all athletic events. When asked how they manage to win athletics every time, Tyler Russ—our top male competitor in push ups and a Junior—explains that “every morning [they’re] always doing their push ups and sit ups [and] every morning [they’re] maintaining [their] strength.”

Overall, the cadets won 1st place overall, and took home the title of 10 year consecutive winners. 

  Being consecutive winners of the Area 4 Competition does not come easy, and takes a great amount of self-discipline. The cadets are here at school at 6:30am every day until 3:00pm, and some even stay later if they participate in sports or other extracurricular activities. Connor Caulfield (Junior) and Caleigh Sidenburg (Sophomore), captains of the drill and PT team, both revealed that the hardest part of preparation is “having everyone come in the morning and making sure that they are showing up. Waking up at 5am to come in at 6:30am everyday is a lot.” However, Caulfield highlighted that the biggest reward from this competition was not the trophy, but seeing that “[their] hard work and discipline paid off.” 

The competition being over does not signify a break. It only means more work. Winning Area 4 means going to Navy Nationals, which is taking place in Pensacola, Florida. Here, the cadets will compete with NJROTC units across the country. The cadets’ goal is to, of course, win, but more importantly, to get closer with one another and see personal improvement. 

We congratulate Colts Neck High School for this great feat, and wish them the best as we send them to the national championships in Florida!