Eastern Wayne High School Air Force Junior Reserve Training drill team

The Eastern Wayne High School Air Force Junior Reserve Training drill team recently earned 11 trophies during the 10th Annual Capital City Invitational Drill Competition in Raleigh. The local student group competed against 17 other Air Force JROTC units from across North Carolina. 

The Eastern Wayne High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps drill team took home 11 trophies during the 10th Annual Capital City Invitational Drill Competition.

The local student group competed against 17 other units from across the state at the contest, which was held in Raleigh.

The unit received three first-place recognitions, five second-place honors and three third-place awards, officials said.

“The performance at the drill competition was the result of lots of hard work, dedication and practice every day for the entire school year,” said Lt. Col. Jesse Smith, JROTC instructor at Eastern Wayne High. “The drill team is cadet-led and we couldn’t be prouder as they faced many seasoned schools.”

The drill team won the Overall 1st Place Regulation Drill Competition, which included 10 regulation drill events.

It also received the Overall 2nd Place Regulation and Innovative Competition, which included 15 drill events.

Other recognitions include:

• First place Regulation Armed Knockout, Jacob Schilling.

• First place AS-1 Regulation Unarmed Knockout, Monica Solano.

• Second place, Regulation Flight Armed, Commander Jacob Schilling and flight members James Sutton, Landon Reiber, Marico Graham, Christian Cruze, Hamza Adil, Aidan Schilling, Emani McDuffie, Michael Cruze and Janae Griffin.

• Second place, Regulation AS-1 Flight Unarmed, Commander Aidan Schilling and flight members James Sutton, Michael Lehmann, Shawn Davis, Hamza Adil, Arianna Marcy, Monica Solano, Marico Graham, Alexander Sabin and Heidi Orozco.

• Second place, Regulation AS-1 Element Unarmed, Commander James Sutton and members Aidan Schilling, Hamza Adil, Shawn Davis, Marico Graham and Monica Solano.

• Second place, Innovative Individual Armed Female, Christina Cruze.

• Third place, Regulation Element Armed, Commander Hartley Mozingo and members James Sutton, Jacob Schilling, Hamza Adil, Christina Cruze and Emani McDuffie.

• Third place, Regulation Unarmed, Commander Jacob Schilling and members Emani McDuffie, Hartley Mozingo, Michael Cruze, Christina Cruze and Janae Griffin.

• Third place, AS-1 REgulation Unarmed Knockout, Orianna Burwell and Shawn Davis.

Christina Cruze is the drill team commander, while Jacob Schilling and Daniel Stevens are the special teams squadron commanders, their instructor said, crediting his JROTC group with the latest round of accomplishments in the student military organization.

“Over the past two years, these cadets built a competitive drill team from scratch,” Smith said. “We are extremely proud of all cadets (who) competed and represented Eastern Wayne High School and Wayne County well.”