LEAVENWORTH — First Sgt. Wayne Cogdill is not pulling any punches when asked about the JROTC Raiders’ chances in next week’s national championships.
“We’re going to win it,” Cogdill said. “Our goal is to sweep every event. I want that billboard.”
The billboard to which he refers is located along K-7 highway near Lansing. It often features highly successful local sports teams. Cogdill wants to win the national championship and have his team featured on the billboard.
“We’re going to do it,” he said.
Cogdill is the school’s adviser for the successful Raiders team, which will be making its eighth straight appearance in the national championships in Molena, Georgia.
The 50-person team leaves Oct. 31. The tournament will be held Nov. 2-3.
That team includes senior Konya Halle, the defending female national champion.
“It was pretty unbelievable,” Halle said of becoming the school’s first female national champion in the ultimate Raider competition. “First place, it was an amazing thing. This year, I’m pretty nervous. But I feel ready for it. I will do my best.”
Senior Cody Savage, battalion commander, said hopes are high that the Raiders will capture the school’s first national championship as a team.
“We have a chance,” he said.
Cogdill said the Raider program prepared for this year’s national championships by constructing a replica of the course in Georgia on school grounds in Leavenworth.
Raider competitions consist of three teams — male, female and coed. Cadets compete in five events, to include a physical team test, 5K run over terrain, one-rope bridge, gauntlet and litter carry.
The coed team placed second in the nation in 2017 and 2018.
The Raiders are coming off three straight regional wins to prepare for their trip to nationals.