Don’t look now, but the Pioneer Battalion Raiders are starting to find their groove once again. The local JROTC program, which has been among one of the top squads in the state for the last three years, has won back-to-back events after claiming the top spot at East Hamilton over the weekend.
The Pioneer Raider team was the top finisher in the Hurricane Challenge, outlasting 32 teams for the trophy Saturday. It came on the heels of the group winning top honors at Bring the Sting event at Fairview High School Sept. 10.
“It was another awesome weekend in the books for the Pioneer Raider team,” said First Sergeant Tim Howard after his team’s second straight victory Saturday.
The Pioneer Battalion just missed out in sweeping the three divisions in the Hurricane Challenge. The girls finished second overall, while the co-ed team had a pair of top-3 finishes in events.
The boys set the tone, claiming individual victories in the rope bridge, obstacle and terrain run (which featured a log carry). The Pioneer Raider team was also second in the uphill equipment carry and “Murph” challenge, giving them more than enough points to pace the field.
It’s been a great two weeks for the team, which has incorporated some new athletes this year after last year’s run to being a top-10 team in the nation. It seems like the Raiders haven’t missed a beat.
“The key is just perseverance – just following your training and push through it while leaning on each other. It’s about work ethic and never giving up,” said Howard.
The girls won the uphill equipment carry and took second in the rope bridge – one of the group’s favorite events – and the terrain run/log carry.
The co-ed team had its best finish in the uphill equipment carry as well, finishing second.
This Saturday, the Pioneer Battalion will have a new test. The local Raiders will be the host school for a 32-team event at Warren County High School. The group won’t be participating, but they will be in charge of organizing and running the event. Action will be ongoing Saturday on the JROTC course behind the school if locals want to see the grueling tasks and precision training required of the young cadets across the state.