Dawn Kujawa – Lexington 2 Communications: Airport High School’s award-winning Army JROTC drill team has taken the top spots in several recent competitions, including the state championship, despite the school year’s COVID-19 challenges.
Among top finishes:
- Airport’s drill team placed first overall in the 4th Brigade Best of the Best, held February 5 in Hickory, NC, featuring the best teams from schools in six states and the District of Columbia. It’s the ninth consecutive time Airport’s Golden Talon team has finished first overall.
- The team came in first place overall in the recent Palmetto State Drill Team Championship, which was held at Airport. It is the 14th consecutive year that Airport’s drill team has won the state championship.
- Airport’s drill team came in first place overall in the Greater Midlands Area Drill Team League Championship, held late last fall at Lower Richland High School. It’s the 15th consecutive year Airport has placed first overall in the event.
While Airport’s Golden Talon drill team has a longtime winning tradition, CSM Harry Ferguson, a senior Army instructor who leads Airport’s team, said the pandemic has posed challenges. Ferguson said this year’s team is smaller than usual, with 20-25 mostly freshman members rather than the more typical 30-40 members, a trend Ferguson said is being seen at other schools nationwide amid COVID.
“We have been fortunate enough to compete this year and have not had to cancel any meets,” Ferguson said.
In addition to first place finishes overall, other awards from Airport’s recent competitions include:
4th BRIGADE BEST OF THE BEST
- First Place – Platoon Regulation without Arms
- Second Place – Color Guard
- Second Place – Inspection without Arms
- Second Place – Exhibition without Arms
PALMETTO STATE DRILL TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
- First Place – Duet Exhibition without Arms
- First Place – Regulation Squad without Arms
- First Place – Regulation Platoon without Arms
- First Place – Regulation Platoon Inspection without Arms
- Second Place – Regulation Color Guard without Arms
- Second Place – Platoon Exhibition without Arms
GREATER MIDLANDS AREA DRILL TEAM LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
- First Place – Unarmed Squad Regulation
- First Place – Armed Squad Regulation
- First Place – Individual Armed
- Second Place – Unarmed Platoon Regulation
- Second Place – Armed Platoon Regulation
- Second Place – Unarmed Platoon Exhibition
- Third Place – Color Guard
- Third Place – Duet Armed
- Fourth Place – Armed Platoon Exhibition
Looking ahead, Airport will cap its season with the Army and all-branch nationals this spring in Daytona Beach, Fla.