Oak Harbor wins first regional title | NJROTC

Chief William Thiel, sans mustache, is all smiles after his team won the regional title. - --
Chief William Thiel, sans mustache, is all smiles after his team won the regional title.
— image credit: --

It must have been the mustache.

The Oak Harbor High School Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps captured the overall Northwest Drill and Rifle Conference Regional Championship at Graham-Kapowsin High School in Graham Saturday, March 16.

The title was Oak Harbor's first in the regional tournament.

Chief William Thiel told his nine teams that qualified if they won the meet, he would shave off his mustache.

Thiel said after his shave, "My upper lip is cold." That was a result of his team being hot. Oak Harbor finished first among the 30 teams from Oregon City north with ROTC units from Army, Air Force, Marine Corp and Navy.

Oak Harbor qualified teams for all 10 competitions; the top six in each earned points.

The Wildcat Unarmed Drill Team and Physical Strength Team No. 1 each nabbed firsts. Rifle Team No. 1 placed second, the Armed Drill Team fourth and Rifle Team No. 2 fifth. Physical Strength No. 2 finished seventh, and Color Guard No. 1 and No. 2 both placed eighth.

In the individual competition, Mariel Empinado (physical strength female) and David Kusnick (physical strength male) were champions.

Others who placed included Devin Peterson, fourth, armed drill down and sixth, armed drill team commander; Angela Morse, fourth, rifle team No. 2; Therese Desquitado, fifth, unarmed drill team commander; Todd Adair, sixth, armed drill down; Jermin Abides, sixth, physical strength male; and Cedric Cabigting, ninth, rifle team No. 2.

Thiel said, "This drill meet shows how hard the cadets work, not just at practice, but also keeping their grades passing and having at least a 2.0 GPA with no F’s just like any other extra-curricular activity. The practices started back in October with the cadets showing up at 6:30 a.m. four to five days a week, and their accomplishments at the division level and now at the conference level really shows their dedication to the NJROTC program."

The Area 13 manager nominated Oak Harbor to participate in the Navy national drill meet. Each area manager receives only two or three spots (out of 50 or more schools) for this meet, Thiel said.

This is the first year Oak Harbor has been nominated to participate. In the past the meet was in Pensacola, Fla.; however, this year, because of budget cuts, it will be a virtual meet that will be videotaped here and sent to Sports International Network (SNI) and Navy Service Training Command (NSTC) for judging.

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