Originally created 12/01/05

Richmond Academy's JROTC takes championship



Facing fierce competition from several other high schools, the Academy of Richmond County Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps Raider Team won the sixth annual Brigade State Raider Championship in Commerce, Ga., on Nov. 19.

"We beat out 27 schools that were participating," said Cadet Sgt. Maj. Noel Cartagena, the Raider Team coach. "Motivation and teamwork is what got them through."

The five competitions include a physical fitness test, the gauntlet, which is an obstacle course, the cross-country litter, three-mile team run and the rope bridge, Cadet Sgt. Maj. Cartagena said.

Richmond Academy won second place in the physical fitness test and the rope bridge, third place for the three-mile team run, fourth place in the gauntlet and fifth place at litter-carrying.

"That accounts for 16 points total, which was the lowest score, becoming the 2005 Georgia State Raider Champions," Cadet Sgt. Maj. Cartagena said.

The Raider Team helps students build a sense of dedication and determination by challenging its participants in hands-on activities that help increase physical fitness, self-confidence and help develop leadership and teamwork, Cadet Sgt. Maj. Cartagena said.

"I got into the Raider Team to get me in shape for basketball," said Junior 2nd Lt. Cameron Jacques. "After I got on the team, (Cadet Sgt. Maj. Cartagena) told the track coach and I ran well in track, too."

Second Lt. Brandin Walker, also a junior at Richmond Academy, was proud of all the weight he lost during training.

"I was fat," 2nd Lt. Walker said. "Once we got into working out more, I gained a lot of pride in myself. I lost around 30 pounds."

Hephzibah High School, Lakeside High School and Evans High School were the other Augusta-area schools that participated in the championship event.

Reach Rebecca A. Smith at (706) 823-3552 or rebecca.smith@augustachronicle.com.