PETAL, MS (WDAM) - The Petal High School Panther Battalion is headed to the ROTC National Championships.
"The competition is more of the final product; by the time you are there, everything should be done," said ROTC member Benjamin Coon. "My favorite thing is making sure the wheels are greased and the gears are ready to go, so when we are there, everything is good."
Coon, a Junior on the ROTC Drill Team, was one of many who competed against 54 other schools in the Army Junior ROTC State Drill.
"We got second place, but we did good," Coon said. "We were very close, and we worked very hard."
According to Sgt. Maj. Don Dubose, head of the ROTC program, the students had an out outstanding performance at the competition, qualifying the team to compete in the Army JROTC National Drill Championship in Kentucky.
"Our kids have done well and placed in the top percentile in every one of the events," said Dubose.
Dubose said the program is accomplished for only being three years old.
"They have come very far very fast and we are very proud of them," said Dubose.
Drill team practices started in August before the school year began. ROTC member and student Thalia Gordillo said being a part of the ROTC is a privilege.
"I do it because I like being a part of something that is a lot bigger than myself; it's not just you," said Gordillo. "You are a contributing factor; you all have to work together to make it work."