Michigan City High School (MCHS) hosted and competed in a military drill meet held at the high school on Saturday, December 4th.  Schools from throughout Indiana and Illinois attended the meet.  It was sponsored by the Michigan City chapter of the Marine Corps League and the MCHS Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (MCJROTC) Booster Club. Judges were provided by the University of Notre Dame Navy/Marine Corps ROTC.  Portage edged out Indianapolis Ben Davis and  Romeoville, Illinois to win the meet.

“Hosting a drill meet is much work,” said MCHS Senior Marine Instructor Major Tom McGrath.  “Since it requires more time added to MCJROTC teaching and extracurricular coaching requirements, most schools don’t do it, to include schools that have superior facilities to ours.  Despite the many challenges this year has brought- gym renovations, Covid concerns, and outside activities beyond our control, our cadets still wanted to host the meet.  This shows the competitiveness of MCHS students.”

Despite the challenges mentioned by McGrath that also hindered MCHS’s preparation to  compete in the meet , MCHS still took third place in Color Guard and the Personnel Inspection.  Cadet First Lieutenant Darrick Hammond earned seventh place out of 100 cadets in individual competition.  Master Sergeant Jeff Benak, the Marine Instructor, praised the cadets for rising to the occasion.  “They have really worked hard in practice, particularly the first year cadets who had to compete at the varsity level.  To be able to stay with these larger schools who have more practice options than us due to better facilities, really speaks highly of MCHS cadets.”

Although not earning a trophy, Cadet Major Declan Rice, who commanded the Unarmed Regulation Platoon, was gratified by the experience.  “Commanding a drill unit is probably the hardest thing that I have ever done.  We have great cadets who competed well today and represented Michigan City High School in the best possible light to the many schools and spectators who came here.”

MCHS’ next meet will be February 26th at Portage.  Michigan City Area Schools says the MCJROTC Regional Championship is scheduled for Purdue University, “probably in March.”  The winner of that meet will then go to Daytona Beach, Florida, for the National Championship.  All costs for that trip will be funded by the Marine Corps.