The Prowl

The Student News Site of Weston Ranch High School

The Prowl

The Prowl

JROTC Marches Past Competition at Lathrop


Weston Ranch Cougar Battalion (WRCB) showed up early to Lathrop High School and walked away later as the winners of the Lathrop High School Drill Competition. Three months of preparation and practice culminated in Weston Ranch JROTC hoisting another trophy.

For this competition, WR had set up different teams, and due to the abundant number of cadets from WRCB, many people were in the excess group. However, everyone on each team earned their position for this comp due to their hard work and dedication.

“Everyone earned their right to be there, they are an amazing group of people, and I was relieved to be performing next to them,” First Sargent Tania Esqueda said.

As they all worked towards the goal of being on top, Unarmed (the group who performed without rifles) worked very hard, and it paid off. They did really well and showed out.

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Platoon leader company Commander Criselle Daquioag said, “I felt very relieved because when we won, it was all a blur, running up to Lathrops’ battalion commander to receive our trophy.”

She was very proud of her freshman cadets, who were up against more experienced LETs (Leadership Education Training). WR’s group of LET 1’s competed against the highest-ranked LET 4’s, and coming out on top was a real achievement for them. However, she, along with her cadets, was very nervous. She could see the anxiety in her platoon, but they were confident that they would blow them out of the water during the drills.

“(I told them) We practiced like we were going to perform,” Daquioag sadi. “Now it’s time to perform as we practiced.”

Armed (the group with rifles) showed up and showed out, destroying the competition by a landslide. Coming in expecting at least 3rd place and getting first surprised everyone in the armed platoon.

Company Commander Victor Perez said, “I’m proud of Armed and how they excelled, and they did amazing by capturing first place, beating East Union by one point. I think everyone practiced calm and composed to stay focused to do our best and get first from trying hard and doing well, but life is a highway, and I want to ride it all night long,” said Perez.

Battalion EXO Dayana Martinez added, “Our drill performances were better than expected, and they did their best. I was personally shaking because I was worried, but the celebration between us really comforted me, but don’t fight the hooah.”

SAI LTC Michael Cerezo, WR’s JROTC Army Instructor, watched with pride as the cadets practiced day by day, and they were motivated to give their 100%. The results reflected what they practiced as the drill team garnered a trophy.

“The cougar battalion cadets displayed precision in their drill and color guard movements,” Cerezo said. “Their hard work and dedication accomplished their goals and being the best in what they do, and kudos to the dedicated JROTC cadets, HOOAH!”

CSM Carlos Toledo added, “Discipline is motivation, and motivation is discipline.”

Spirits are high after the cadets gave it their all last Saturday at Lathrop. The platoon will use this victory to motivate them to push forward for the rest of the year. The battalion had a positive outlook and was very confident in what they planned to do in all four events. They did very well and put in a lot of work, which showed.

Drill Commander and Sargent Stephon Dacus said, “The whole battalion did well. They improved themselves and surpassed expectations with their hard work.”

The color guard did not have a high finish like the Unarmed and Armed. WR did not place, but they still did a fantastic job out.

JV color guard member Alejandro Loera said, “Our team is 100% better than every school, and I believe they are outstanding. Hard work over everything makes this dream possible. They worked constantly and never once stopped outside of training hours. What hurts today hurts less tomorrow.”

Varsity team leader Omar Diaz said, “It was very tiring and stressful to train for hours on end for that 5 minutes of fame. This was their last drill comp for some, and they couldn’t have been more proud of their mighty cougar battalion.”

Racheal Balisacan, Battalion Commander and head of the top 3, said, “I might be biased because they’re my cadets, but I’ve seen them working hard every day. I see the amount of time and effort they dedicate, and even though the color guard’s placing is unknown, we could’ve practiced more and improved. Even with small uniform mistakes being noticed, we could’ve practiced more.”

Balisacan expects the rest of the year to have just as much effort as the Lathrop drill com had because even though not everyone placed first, they worked hard and did amazingly.

Speaking of amazing, Freshman Excess Platoon leader Andrea Segura, who stepped in as platoon leader just three days before the competition, demonstrated tremendous leadership skills and illustrated how much the Bravo Company commander taught here. She was excited and prepared to lead, doing a fantastic job. Confident and loud, she proved she was the best choice to lead Excess.

“Don’t let your fears hold you back!” Segura proudly said.

JROTC will be back on the parade ground in February at Sierra High School.

Photos courtesy of Corey Stickley.

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JROTC Marches Past Competition at Lathrop