JROTC Raider Mixed Team places first place overall at state competition


Miguel Garcia

Varsity JROTC Raider Teams compete at Camp Flaming Arrow. The mixed varsity team won First Place Overall at the event.

Miguel Garcia, Writer

On Saturday, Dec. 4, all three varsity MSD JROTC Raider teams competed at the Florida State Raider Meet at Camp Flaming Arrow in Lake Wales, Florida. This occasion was special since it was the first time that all varsity Raider teams qualified for the state competition. Those teams were Male, Female and Mixed.

Raiders consists of five events: Team Run, which consists of a 5K run as a team; Rope Bridge, which involves cadets to tie a rope around two points and pull themselves across to the end point; Cross Country Rescue, in which cadets are to carry a certain amount of weight around a one-mile course; Fitness Challenge, which is a half-mile course that tests cadets’ physical prowess; and Tire Flip, which has cadets flip a tire for a distance of 50 yards and back.

The Mixed team placed in four out of five of their events and it was enough to win them first place overall in their tier. Tiers are determined based on how many students are currently enrolled in a school’s JROTC program. All Raider teams that came from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were Tier 3 teams. Tier 3 schools are among some of the lesser populated JROTC programs in the state.

The Mixed team was co-commanded by senior Patrick Collins, who was part of the varsity Mixed team since his freshman year, and senior Jacob Beavin, who joined the team in 2021. The Raiders Mixed team won MSD JROTC’s first ever State Championship Title in 2021. All three teams were coached by Sergeant First Class Ramon Arias, who is currently the Assistant Instructor of the JROTC program.

“I actually wasn’t planning on joining JROTC at all in high school, but my dad worked at Everglades High School and told me that a winning coach would be coming to Douglas,” Collins said.

Collins was part of the first team to ever attend a state meet for JROTC, the first team to ever win a JROTC state competition, and the first team to ever win a back-to-back state competition. It was a very special day for him, as well as his co-commander, Beavin.

“I am extremely happy with how my team placed. I think everything went well and I wouldn’t change a thing about it,” Beavin said.

Both commanders are very pleased with the placing of their team and are hoping their underclassmen continue their legacy for years to come. The Raiders Mixed team became the first ever JROTC team to win back-to-back State Championships in MSD history.