Nease NJROTC captures 3rd at national championships


Competing against the top 27 NJROTC drill teams across the country, Nease placed third at the 2022 Navy National Academic, Athletic and Drill Championships in Pensacola on April 1-2. 

The Navy Nationals comprise a series of 10 events — personnel inspection, five drill, three athletic and one academic — where the cumulative scores are added to determine the overall national champion.  Nease represented NJROTC Area-12, which covers the 60 NJROTC programs across Northern Florida and the state of Georgia, having won the Area-12 Drill Championship last month in Coffee County, Georgia.

Nease won first place in two events, the 16x100 relay and unarmed basic drill.

The team garnered eight additional trophies, including second place in personnel inspection, third place in overall athletics and pushups; fourth place in overall drill, unarmed exhibition drill and sit-ups; and fifth place in armed basic drill and academics.

Five cadets earned individual medals: Emmelie Neff finished second in sit-ups, Keegan Mapa took fifth in sit-ups, Emily Chang and Nicholas Gallego were 10th in female and male pushups, and Ben Prohofsky was 10th in academics.

“These young men and women persevered since August, practicing at 7:30 a.m.,” said senior naval science instructor Capt. Scott LaRochelle. “Finishing third in the nation validated their commitment to excellence.”

Nease has qualified and competed at the Navy Nationals every year since 2015 with this year being the team’s best finish. Pace High School in Pensacola and Troy High School in Fullerton, California, placed top two.

“I couldn’t be more proud of all of my teammates,” said Battalion Commander Kaitlyn Boggs, commander of the freshly minted number one unarmed basic drill team in the nation. “Coming out on top in this event knowing the talent from other programs in California, Virginia, Texas and Florida makes this trophy even more special.”