North Surry’s Spring Junior Officers Training Corps Extreme Fitness Competition, began as an event at the high school, has grown to include teams from Surry Central’s JROTC as well.
According to Lt. Col. John Bowes, an earlier extreme fitness competition was held in the fall. He said the military-style confidence course was added during spring break at North Surry.
“It’s designed to be a little scary yet achievable,” commented Bowes. He said the confidence course includes a seven-foot wall (similar to the ones on Marine obstacle courses), a 24-foot rope climb, a 16-foot stretch of monkey bars, jumps, tires and an Army-style barbed wire crawl.
The next portion of the course included trail running while searching for trail markers, carrying logs, archery, a tactical air soft course, an air rifle shooting area and rolling a six-and-a-half-foot tractor tire uphill.
“We quickly found out there was no negotiating with a tractor tire that big,” said Bowes, laughing. “After rolling one uphill you have to reset the tire and the simplest solution to roll one down the hill just doesn’t work. We found out you couldn’t knock one over from the side and it would roll up and down two hills and into the woods before it stopped.”
He said the multiple unit competition was well received and organizers hope to include East Surry High School’s Army JROTC next year.
“This whole concept of extreme fitness is designed to encourage the kids to take part in year-long fitness and be ready for the next competition. This is especially valuable for cadets not involved in sports activities,” said Bowes. “If we can keep them excited, they will be competing at a higher level each year.”
North Surry’s Intimidators team took first place in team competition. The team was led by Cadet Lt. Col. Jordan Krause. Other cadets on the team were Alex Bowes, Seth Llewellyn and Austin McBride. North Surry’s Expendables team placed second. This team was led by Cadet Master Sgt. Devyn Green. Other cadets on the team were Barrett Slate, Jeremiah Griffin and Jordan Krause. Cadet Dakota Ellis finished in third place in the individual female competition.
Surry Central Cadet Savanna Shaw was first in individual female competition and Cadet Alicia Bartolo was second. Central finished third in team competition. The team included cadets Jon Brewer, Emmanuel Secundino, Victoria Olchowoj and Darren Brown.
North Surry also swept the individual competition with the three top places. Bowes said Cadet Master Sgt. Jeremy Morton really put in a remarkable effort, covering seven obstacles and 24 feet of rope in one minute and six seconds. Cadet Jeremiah Griffin was second and Austin McBride was third.
Bowes said North Surry is not slowing down its busy slate of activities and will be the honor guard at the Marine Corps League of North Carolina Spring Meeting Saturday in Mount Airy.
The cadets also are engaged in a last minute scramble to earn money to feed and house fellow cadets who plan on traveling to Washington, D.C., on April 26 to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Bowes explained sequestration has forced the Air Force to remove funds which had been promised for the effort.
Earlier this year cadets had completed a variety of fundraising projects for special uniforms they plan to wear at the ceremony.
“This is a lifelong memory not just a trip to Washington,” said Bowes. “We need maximum community involvement or several cadets will not be able to go.”
He said this would be a first for his unit. Bowes said NSHS alumni Christian Hinkle, a U.S. Army bugler, has promised to meet the cadets at Arlington and will play “Taps” for the ceremony. Hinkle is a well-known high profile performer at a variety of military occasions and also has played for the president.
A benefit bingo is scheduled for Friday at North Surry High School to raise money for the project. The benefit is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. with the games beginning at 6:30 p.m.
“The community has really supported this to such an extent I think we are going to be able to give away a prize every five minutes of this event,” said Bowes. “It’s going to be a great event. There have been so many prizes given I’ve lost track. We have everything from Nooks and an iPad Mini to $25 restaurant cards. Food will also be offered and we will feature ground steak sandwiches.”
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or 719-1952.