On Feb. 3, Steinbrenner’s ROTC program participated in a drill competition against several other schools at the University of Tampa, where they had to prove their skill and dedication to the program by executing commands and marches as well as they could.
Though there were a dozen events that were available, ROTC only participated in the coed and female color guard, regular unarmed squad, and regular unarmed platoon. All of these are team events with members numbering at 4, 10, and 30, respectively.
Junior Devynn Alexander led the unarmed platoon march for the second year in a row. As First Lieutenant, Alexander has the job to memorize 65 commands that she must deliver to her cadets flawlessly. Alexander claims that, compared to her performance last year, did significantly better at leading her team than at the previous competition. In addition, she felt that her team’s overall improvement significantly increased.
“I shut down all that nervousness and was able to focus, and that led me to do much better this year,” said Alexander.
Junior Valeria Carrasquillo, as Captain, participated in all the events and personally focused on the female color guard-wanting the team to truly improve, and frequently having practices dedicating to perfecting the routine.
Due to this dedication to the female color guard, specifically, Carrasquillo had a somewhat difficult time adjusting to the routine of the mixed-gender color guard, which had minor changes to the routine of the female color guard. However, Carrasquillo had to quickly learn the mixed routine due to a member of the team being unable to attend the competition.
Much like Alexander, Carrasquillo felt that as a whole program, Steinbrenner’s ROTC is improving exponentially, and their performances at competitions like the one at the University of Tampa only solidify this belief.
“I wouldn’t say we placed overall, but we did do a lot better than the last competition,” said Carrasquillo.
In the end, between the mixed color guard, female color guard, regular unarmed platoon, and regular unarmed squad, ROTC placed in 21st place, 14th place, 12th place, and 17th place, respectively. Steinbrenner had consistently placed in the middle or lower ends of placements.
Aliya Leary // Staff Writer