Churchill and MacArthur host raider competition

On Saturday, April 22, Churchill and MacArthur High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) cadets hosted the fourth and final Raider Challenge of the 2016-2017 school year, marking the culmination of an outstanding year of competition showcasing the talents and teamwork of hundreds of Cadets from across Texas. The final competition included more than 350 cadets comprising teams from 13 area schools that traveled from as far away as Clear Falls and Laredo to compete in one of the States premier Raider Challenge series available to high school athletes.

The Raider Challenge events are designed to test physical fitness, mental toughness, and teamwork. Saturday’s competition included a 2.5 mile ruck run, an obstacle course, a combat fitness challenge, and a team rope bridge construction. The teams, consisting of between 6 to 8 competitors depending on the category of competition, were required to complete all four events, in sequence, in a 5 hour period. One particularly unique aspect of the Raider competition is the inclusion of a mixed team category consisting of young men and women serving on the same team.

 “I love competing as a mixed team” said Cadet Major Miranda Leija, commander of the varsity mixed team for Winston Churchill High School. “I have competed in all female teams and mixed teams, by far, my favorite is competing as a mixed team. We have the opportunity to assemble a team that includes the best of the best, it does not matter if you are a boy or a girl.”

 Miranda has competed at the national level, in Molena, Georgia, for each of the last four years. Raider competitions provide an opportunity for students of all ability levels to compete, build strong relationships of trust, and develop a sense of esprit de corps among their teams and schools.

The competition is both physically and mentally demanding, “you can tell by the looks on the Cadets faces at the end of the day” said First Sergeant William Parr, Army Instructor at Winston Churchill High School, “these kids are giving it all that they have”.

The Raider training program has grown in popularity in recent years and have become a major focus for the JROTC cadre responsible for managing them. This year nearly 50 of the 180 Cadets enrolled in the JROTC program at Winston Churchill High School participated in raider and orienteering training. Next year the number is expected to grow as the sport continues to draw more attention and greater participation. The next Raider competition is set for late September and will be held at the JROTC Urban Raider Confidence Course near Heroes Stadium. For more information visit:

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Posted on 05/01/2017