This past weekend, Admiral Farragut Academy’s Drill Team competed in the Pinellas County Drill Meet at Boca Ciega High School and placed 2nd place overall for the first time in a decade of Farragut history.
Each individual team placed high in many different categories:
- Whole team placed 1st place for personal appearance.
- Female team got 1st place in Physical Training.
- Color guard received 3rd place overall.
“This is a very diverse group and they pull together and work together as a team quite well,” said 1st Sgt. David Worthy, who coaches the drill team and color guard. “Even though we had a couple of glitches, like kids who couldn’t make it, the other kids like Chris Hastrup were great at stepping up.”
Cadet Lieutenant Chris Hastrup ‘17 was voted most outstanding cadet of the meet, an achievement made all the more impressive considering he only had a short amount of time to prepare. “We lost both of our drill team commanders 36 hours before the meet,” said Sgt. Worthy. “Hastrup stepped up, memorized 54 movements, and drilled a platoon sized unit. He did a great job.”
“It was definitely nerve-wracking,” Hastrup said. “We’ve been training for almost a year now, but command is almost completely different. It was all I could think about the days leading up to the drill meet, but I did end up getting confident with it over time. Getting ‘most outstanding cadet’ definitely made it all feel worth it.”
“I’ve seen Hastrup in action in the dorms and in formation,” Sgt. Worthy continued. “I’ve seen his command presence, and the other kids respect him. He’s one that leads by example, and anytime you have a cadet like that, it’s very easy to place him in a pressure situation and have the other cadets respond to him.”
“I always try to instill ‘next man up’ mentality in the kids. If something happens, someone’s gotta step up, and I’m thankful Hastrup said ‘I’ve got this’. We’re all very proud of him.”
There were seven other JROTC teams at the meet. “It was interesting to see the dynamic,” said Hastrup. “Here it’s all about respect for the military itself and there it’s just an extracurricular program, so it’s really different. Their performances impressed me, especially the Marine JROTC kids from Clearwater High. I knew we had a lot to live up to, and we did it.”
The next meet is the Area 7 Drill Meet at USF this Saturday, February 4, 2017.