The Waukegan High School JROTC Bulldog Drill Team continued its run of national success when it finished second in the Exhibition Drill competition at the 2014 National High School Drill Team Championships in Daytona, Fla., last weekend.
The second-place finish is the highest ever for Waukegan, and it marks the third straight year that the team finished in the top four.
Competing in the Challenge Level Division, the Bulldogs bested several dozen of the best high school drill teams in the country.
In the Exhibition category, teams show off a combination of regulation drills with some fancy moves.
The exhibition team was led by senior Emily Morales-Cabrera.
“When it was announced that they were second place, the kids started jumping up and down. They were hugging each other, they were crying, they were just elated,” said drill team coach 1SG Lloyd Cunningham.
The team also wowed judges in the Unarmed Inspection competition, where it took fourth.
In the Inspection competition, team members were closely examined for uniformity, military knowledge, and familiarity with current events.
The Inspection team was led by senior Jocelyn Zamudio.
In addition to the team’s success, freshmen Abraham Lopez took home fifth place in the Tap Out competition.
The Tap Out competition pitted more than 500 cadets against each other in a challenge to see who could perform moves flawlessly for the longest period of time.
The team’s recent success can be attributed to their hard work, and high expectations from student commanders, said Cunningham.
“The commanders do not take less than 100 percent — even during practice. Every member of the team is pushed to the limit, in order for them to be successful,” Cunningham said.
Waukegan’s JROTC program tipped its collective hat to the community for helping to finance the team’s trip to Daytona through various fundraising efforts.
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