East High School’s ROTC Drill Team takes top 3 spots at competition

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Members of the ROTC Drill Team at Youngstown’s East High School recently swept the top three spots in the knockout round at the Akron Kenmore Drill Competition.

It was the first time in the school’s history it had been done.

The team spent Tuesday afternoon practicing.

“It’s a marching team. Just pay attention to the commands and get everything right and just listen,” said junior TyShawn Rutledge.

On Tuesday, 13 students were at practice. They started with unarmed drill marching, which is what the team won first place in at the Kenmore competition.

“A lot of the kids we have here have disciplinary problems, and then throughout the years in the program we build them and they learn what it is to be a citizen of the United States,” said instructor Sergeant Douglas Moon.

Four of the students demonstrated the movements and commands of the armed drill team.

Then the practice session ended with a demonstration of the knockout competition, in which the instructor rapidly gives commands. When someone missteps, they’re eliminated.

At the Kenmore competition, the last three standing were all from East. Finishing third was senior Malik Stoffer, second was senior and battalion commander Aaron Santos and the winner was Rutledge.

The winner on Tuesday was Santos.

The next competition is in February at Lincoln West in Cleveland. Wins there would qualify the team for nationals.