Lebanon drill team wins 3rd state championship

Group’s success draws more students to sign up, gives leaders hopes of scholarships.

LEBANON — Hard work has paid off for the cadets in Lebanon High School’s Air Force JROTC Drill Team, which recently won its third state championship.

The team placed first in four of its seven meets, scoring above teams from schools in Ohio and other states.

The program’s success has attracted more interest. Ninety ninth-grade students have signed up for next year, according to the instructor, Master Sgt. Michael Thiergart.

The drill team has worked on polishing its routines for most of the school year during 6 a.m. daily practices, plus many evening and weekend practices, Thiergart said.

“We have been successful with such great, dedicated cadets who care about preparing and being excited about performing precision drill routines,” he said. “They all work well together and share a common goal to compete at their best.”

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Drill team commander Amanda Brown, who has been participating since her ninth-grade year, earned a national award at the team’s last meet. Brown said the team is like a family because members have been competing together for several years. That’s important, she said, because “you have to rely on everybody to do their part.”

“If we want state, we have to practice like it,” she said.

Brown said she hopes to follow in the footsteps of senior cadet Joe Barone, who has been offered a scholarship to attend the University of Texas.

The drill team performs at all community parades, and students must maintain a 2.5 GPA to participate, a higher standard than what’s required for sports at Lebanon High School.

Contact this reporter at (513) 696-4542 or rwilson@coxohio.com.

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