The Galileo JROTC program took home the First Place Overall trophy at the Spring Drill Competition for the second year in a row on Saturday, May 12th. The Drill Platoon took the title of 2nd Place, and the Exhibition Drill Team brought home the 1st Place trophy. For the program, one of the most anticipated events of spring, is the annual 91st Spring Drill Competition because it is one of the two events during the school year, that the program needs multiple months to prepare for.
All the teams were really nervous about the competition because of smaller team sizes and lack of practice, but they continued to push themselves and competed with everything they had. Unfortunately, the Silent Drill Team was unable to place because of an injury of a team member that happened as they were competing. Despite not being able to place first in every competition, the battalion is still proud that they were still able to bring home the 4th consecutive overall competition trophy.
This year, the hardest challenge that the teams faced was finding a proper place to practice. For the competition, only 3 teams competed: Drill Platoon, Silent Drill Team, and Exhibition Drill Team. All of these teams require large amounts of space to be able to maneuver their creative formations and drills, this year, however, the teams were not able to find sufficient space to fulfill their needs.
The competing teams are normally found at the Joe Dimaggio Playground in North Beach since that is the only public space that is large enough for all three teams to practice. In previous years, there has been multiple complaints about the noise levels that distract the residents of the houses right across the street from the playground. Exhibition Drill Team Co-Captain, Alyssa Wu, explains, “The neighbors were constantly complaining to us, and we kept compromising with them so that both sides were happy.”
The teams continued to practice at the Joe Dimaggio Playground, but instead of drilling loudly and with 100%, the teams had to quiet down so that there aren’t any more problems between JROTC and the residents of North Beach. After 5:30 every afternoon, all the teams stop drilling and singing loudly completely, which cut out a lot of time to practice and perfect the drills. “I was frustrated at the neighbors kicking us out of a public area where we have a right to be in” Explains Drill Team Captain, Jayson Madriaga.
Although the teams faced challenges on finding an area to practice, another issue was being able to find enough members to be able to compete. This year, there are only 14 members in the Exhibition Drill Team and 13 members in Silent Drill Team. In previous years, both teams had at least 20 or more members in their teams. Exhibition Drill Team Captain, Melinda Lee, explains, “It’s difficult to boost the team’s confidence with a small team, but at the same time, it was easy to work and perfect the girls since we were all really close to one another, and understood how to be together.”