Raiders earn ‘Best of Best’ championship

Raider team members are (front, from left) Caleb Motley, Kolby Quigg, Jordan Ramsey, Kaitlyn Silvers, Skye Davis, Savannah Greer, (back, from left) David Sharpe, Aaron Woods, Trinity Davis, Zach Gilbert and Enrique O’Campo.

The Magna Vista JROTC Raider Team captured its first “Best of The Best” (BOB) Raider Championship on April 13.

The competition included the top teams from Delaware; Washington, D.C.; Maryland; Virginia; West Virginia; North Carolina; and South Carolina. These states cover the JROTC Cadet Command’s Fourth Brigade, which consists of states from the central east coast of the United States.

Teams must earn their spot and be invited to compete in the Best of The Best Raider Championship. They do that by attending qualifying meets throughout the year.  Only the top teams from each state are invited.

Magna Vista’s JROTC Raiders earned their berth by winning the Virginia Mixed Team State Championship in November 2018 along with being the top team in other qualifiers throughout the year. The Warrior Raiders won three of the four qualifying meets they attended.

MVHS was one of the favorites going into the day but it did not have a championship performance three weeks ago, finishing third in a qualifier.
Team Commander Jordan Ramsey worked hard to ensure his team was physically and mentally prepared for this meet.

“Having a mixed team, five males and four females, brings different strategic challenges. This team embraced the challenge and bonded preparing mentally and physically, for this meet,” he said.

The key to the Warriors’ championship April 13 was consistency throughout the day, finishing in the top three of all five events. They brought home first place in the Logistic Relay, second place in the Team Physical Fitness Challenge (TPFC) and One Rope Bridge and third in the 5K Road March and Litter Carry events.

All teams started the day with a 5K run in the rain.  Magna Vista tied for 3rd place with a time of 27 minutes 29 seconds.  This is a team event; the time does not stop until the last member crosses the finish line.  All members must also stay within 20 meters of each other during the 3.2 miles.

Enrique O’Campo and Ramsey were the driving force during this event by encouraging and physically assisting teammates.

The next event was the TPFC. During this event, each team member had to carry a 5-gallon can of water for 20 meters and then negotiate a low crawl, run up a hill through the woods and then negotiate a hurdle. The team then pulled together to carry a log approximately 30 meters around a cone and back. Once the log was in place, the team had to run the course (approximately a half mile long) in reverse.

Since it was a muddy day, strategy was key. Knowing the course would only get worse throughout the day, the Warrior leaders decided to complete this event first before it really got worn down and muddy. The strategy paid off, with a time of 4 minutes 15 seconds, six seconds behind the leader.

The litter carry was the next event of the day. This event consisted of the Raiders carrying two litters with simulated weights of casualties of 120 pounds approximately one-quarter of a mile.  There were obstacles throughout the course. The first was to lift the litters over a 6-foot-high obstacle, run to a low crawl and drag the litter 10 meters, then run through the woods going up and down inclines, over downed trees and up hills.

Magna Vista Raiders finished with a time of 1 minute 48 seconds, five seconds behind the leader.

After a 40-minute break, the Raider team tackled the logistic relay.  During this event the team had to run down a 50-yard hill, pick up a boat and ammo case weighing 75 pounds, carry both to a launch point, place the ammo case in the boat, row the boat across a pond, hand the ammo case off to two teammates waiting on the other side, then get the ammo case and boat back to their original positions and run back up the hill to the finish line. The course was approximately a quarter mile long with a hurdle and other ground obstacles.

After David Sharpe and Aaron Woods placed the ammo box in the boat, Kolby Quigg and Ramsey rowed the boat to the far shore where O’Campo pulled the ammo box out of the boat. O’Campo, Sharpe and Woods took turns carrying the ammo box back to its original position.  Once Ramsey and Quigg rowed the boat back to the near shore, Kaitlyn Silvers, Skye Davis and Trinity Davis were waiting to pull the boat out of the water and carry it back to its original position. The group’s teamwork paid off by finishing with a time of 2 minutes and 12 seconds, the fastest time of the meet.

The last event of the day was the one rope bridge, historically one of the best events for Magna Vista Raider teams. During this event, the members have a 14-foot rope they must tie as swiss seats and a 100-foot rope they must use to construct a bridge between two trees 52 feet apart so that each member can cross the rope bridge. At the end, the team must take all knots out of the rope.

Skye Davis led the way, tying her seat and taking the rope to the far side in preparation for securing it to a tree.  Davis is considered one of the fastest in 4th Brigade and it was no difference on this day as she was documented completing her initial task in 20 seconds.
As Davis completed her task, Quigg and Savannah Greer prepared the rope with a transport knot in preparation for the tightening of the rope. Davis then wrapped the rope around the tree on her side and the team pulled the rope to tighten it for crossing. Once all the team members crossed, Ramsey and Davis untied the knots and broke down the bridge. Despite two unchartered 10 second penalties, the Warrior Raider team finished in second place with a total time of 1 minute 59 seconds.

The competition ended a stellar career for Ramsey, who has led the team to three state titles and now a Best of the Best Championship. He has been on the Raider team for all four years of his high school career and Raider commander for the past two seasons.

Other seniors are Skye Davis and Zach Gilbert.  Davis has been on the Raider team three years; Gilbert is in his first year.

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