Boca High Naval Junior ROTC nabs Florida State Championship
BOCA RATON –The Bobcat Battalion, the Junior Naval ROTC corps at Boca Raton Community High School, won the NJROTC Florida State Championship March 6 at Oviedo High School in Orlando. It capped an undefeated season for the Boca squad that was one of 24 competitors in the state meet.
“The competition was the most intense that I have seen in 16 years,” said Boca NJROTC Commander Ken Bingham. “We went in knowing several schools were after the Bobcats.”
The NJROTC program is divided into 11 areas nationwide, consisting of several states combined into different areas. Florida is one of only three one–state areas. “Except for a school in Texas, the top competitors are in our area,” said Bingham. “So our state final consists of the top units in the country.””
He said the field meet “was very tight down to the last two events. It was between us and our rivals Flanagan High School and Winter Park. We knew we had to run like the wind to beat them in the 100 yard and 200 yard relays. When the dust finally settled, the Bobcats prevailed, with Winter Park in second place and Flanagan, third.”
The Navy sends the top two teams from each area to nationals in Pensacola. Bingham said his cadets are excited about going to national championship in April and hoping to bring home the national title.
“Cadet Commander Michael Newman and Cadet Lieutenant Commander Jackie Rappel led our cadets to this state championship,” he said “The cadets finished first in personnel inspection, and second in academics. Sean Osler had the highest score on the academic test and finished first in the state, followed by Michael Newman, who placed fourth. We finished second in overall drill, and fifth in overall athletics.”
He said his cadets “begin hitting the books, participating in PT and practicing drill maneuvers two weeks before school starts in August and work hard toward their achievements every week until May, when new leaders are selected and the learning process begins again.”