Bob Jones High School Air Force Junior ROTC claimed the title of Competition Grand Champions at Hoover Invitational Drill Competition. The Madison group included former Cadet Audrey Groger, from left, Titia James, cadets Ava Curtis, Kaitlyn Thompson, Prisha Pahwa, Esteban Del Rio Perez, Logan Jackson, Neil DiGennaro, Laiken Justice, Gary Stephenson, Lucy Halter, Sydney Turpin, Veronica Layne, Anthony Rivera, Elizabeth Lee, Charlotte Droege, Nick Fury, Vincent Franz Colon, Alexander Dyer, Caitlyn Johnston, Audrey Ellis, Maj. (ret.) Dr. Melissa Lacey, former Cadet Shaniya Jacobs Lanier and Chief Master Sgt. (ret.) Ellis Clark. CONTRIBUTED

Bob Jones AFJROTC named Grand Champions at Hoover

MADISON – At the third annual Hoover Invitational Drill Competition, cadets in Air Force Junior ROTC or AFJROTC from Bob Jones High School earned numerous individual awards but also claimed the title of Competition Grand Champions.

“I’m very impressed with my drill team members because they performed superbly considering that they were not able to practice for an extensive period due to the bad weather we experienced in the North Alabama region,” Chief Master Sgt. (ret.) Ellis Clark said.

Maj. (ret.) Dr. Melissa Lacey also teaches aerospace science for Bob Jones AFJROTC.

Bob Jones dominated the top places in most competitions: Armed Inspection, first place; Unarmed Inspection, third; Unarmed Color Guard, first; Armed Squad, third; Unarmed Squad, first; Arm Regulation Flight, first; and Unarmed Regulation Flight, first. In addition, the cadets as a group earned the honors of Overall Armed Champions, Overall Unarmed Champions and Overall Competition Champions.

“Our Bob Jones Blue Knights put on a spectacular performance at the third annual Hoover Invitational Drill Competition,” Clark said. “Beginning with Unarmed Inspection, led by Cadet Charlotte Droege, who made her debut commanding several routines, led the team to take third place.”

“Later in the drill competition, Cadet Droege led the Armed Inspection event, where the team won first place. In both instances, cadets were graded on uniform appearance, military bearing and their knowledge of the military and current events,” Clark said. “Cadet Droege also commanded the Armed Squad routine where the team took third place.”

Cadet Veronica Layne led the Unarmed Squad routine that resulted in a first-place win. Cadet Esteban Del Rio Perez was in charge of the Unarmed Color Guard routine, and the team captured first place.

“Cadet Lucy Halter did an amazing job commanding the Unarmed Flight Regulation routine that earned the team first place,” Clark said. “Cadet Halter was also recognized for her excellent performance in her routine and was recognized with a first-place Commander’s Medal.”

“Cadet Laike Justice led the Armed Flight Regulation routine in wonderful style earning the team a first-place win,” Clark said.

The Bob Jones cadets who competed at Hoover are Vincent Franz Colon, Ava Curtis, Neil DiGennaro, Charlotte Droege, Alexander Dyer, Audrey Ellis, Nick Fury, Lucy Halter, Logan Jackson, Caitlyn Johnston, Laiken Justice, Veronica Layne, Elizabeth Lee, Prisha Pahwa, Esteban Del Rio Perez, Anthony Rivera, Gary Stephenson, Kaitlyn Thompson and Sydney Turpin.

Accompanying the Bob Jones students were former cadets Audrey Groger and Shaniya Jacobs Lanier, along with Titia James and instructors Lacey and Clark.

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