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JROTC Unarmed Exhibition Team takes 1st place

JROTC Unarmed Exhibition Team takes 1st place


Waynesville High School’s Unarmed Exhibition Team took first place in the Joplin Invitational Drill Competition on Feb. 6, 2021, beating the National Champion Ozark High School team for the first time ever.

“It felt really good because we beat some really good teams. This is my senior year and I wanted to make it special and go out with a big bang,” said Chloe Olmstead, Waynesville’s unarmed exhibition team leader and a WHS senior. “I am extremely proud of my teammates and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.”

Until 2014, Waynesville’s JROTC team had never competed in unarmed and armed exhibition and while the armed exhibition team has vaulted to success, the unarmed exhibition team has taken more time to develop. The unarmed exhibition team has placed and even taken first at a few smaller meets, but taking first over Ozark marks a milestone in the team’s history. 

“Our cadets strive for first place, but I suspect that many of them thought they couldn’t beat Ozark,” said Col. (Ret) Charles Williams, senior Army instructor for Waynesville’s JROTC program. 

That’s because Ozarks’ Unarmed Exhibition Team is that good. Even the competitive Williams, whose classroom in the Waynesville Career Center is filled with JROTC drill team trophies, admits that when it comes to unarmed exhibition teams, “Ozark is a team that I look at this way:  If we can’t win, I like it when they do.”

Undaunted by COVID-19 restrictions, Olmstead put in additional time strategically recruiting new members to add to this year’s team with the goal of putting together the best team ever. 

“(Olmstead) is dedicated to this team and event,” Williams said. “She is calm and a good role model and teacher to the other cadets.”

The team practices four days a week following COVID guidelines for about 2.5 hours during each session. In addition, many of the team members practice on their own and as a group outside of scheduled practices.

“They are constantly improving the routine and practicing,” Williams said. “Their hard work has paid off.”

In addition to the first place finish in unarmed exhibition, the drill team finished 3rd overall in the competition with the following results: 

     - Unarmed Regulation Team, led by 

       Haven Royal, finished 3rd overall.

     - Armed Color Guard, led by Audrey 

       Steele, finished 3rd overall.

     - New Cadet Unarmed Team, led by 

        Skylar Ringo, finished 3rd overall.

     - Armed Exhibition Team, led by 

       Victor Peralta, finished 4th overall

     - Armed Regulation Team, led by 

       Catalina Ortega, finished 4th 


Joplin’s meet was the last competition of the year for the drill team, and the last competition for the drill team’s graduating seniors - Catalina Ortega, Chloe Olmstead, Victor Peralta and Ashynn Rivera.

The drill team is led by CSM (R) Steven Tetreault with assistance from Williams and 1SG (R) Meghan Fadl.


Feb 12, 2021

Drill Team

Team Seniors Seniors