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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Kubasaki High School’s Marine JROTC cadet drill team captured the Far East Regional championship Wednesday night, beating out 11 other schools’ teams for its sixth title in eight years.

“I told them practice makes perfect and the other schools will be coming after Kubasaki,” said retired Marine Master Sgt. Larry McNair, the school’s Marine Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps instructor.

“I’m just proud of them for their accomplishments.”

Students prepared for the competition by practicing daily after school and occasionally on weekends.

More than 210 JROTC members from Guam, South Korea and Japan competed.

Kadena High School’s JROTC instructor, Master Sgt. Tony Galvez, said his team, which finished in second place, continues to improve and he expected great things in future Far East events.

“We are proud of our group. We can see the improvement,” said Galvez. “We placed well in our events and expect to do better next year.”

Most of Kubaski’s drill team, which claimed national honors last year during a competition in Daytona Beach, Fla., graduated. Those who returned wanted to maintain the team’s tradition.

“We had to do so much rebuilding this year but we’re better,” said Cadet Lt. Col. Nicholas Smith, a 17-year-old senior and battalion commander.

He credits JROTC activities with improving his ability to focus, which in turn improved his academic skills. Smith said he plans to attend the University of Florida in the fall or next year.

“I knew we did well from crowd reaction,” he said. “We didn’t even have half of the team we had last year, and we did just as good.”

The three-day event, which showcased marksmanship, drill, color guard and orientation skills plus field events, concluded with an awards ceremony and banquet at the Butler Officers’ Club on Camp Foster.


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