Return to Headlines
FONTANA, CA – Fontana High School’s Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (MCJROTC) Raider teams and Drill teams delivered showstopping performances during the fifth annual Santiago High School Raiders and seventh annual Santiago Drill competition on Nov. 5, continuing the program’s successful streak as it seeks to capture a national championship.
Fontana High School’s two Raider teams earned the first-place overall award, as well as first place for the circuit physical fitness challenge, first- and second-place trophies for the speed orienteering challenge, first place for the top female physical fitness event, first- and second-place awards for the litter carry challenge, and second place for the single rope bridge.
The Drill team, consisting of 10 students, brought home first place for the Unarmed Regulation Drill and second place for the Unarmed Inspection. In total, 22 students make up the fierce FOHI MCJROTC teams.
“We are very competitive at local, regional and national levels,” Senior Marine Instructor Lieutenant Colonel R.D. Meelarp said. “We are the teams to beat.”
The meet, hosted by Santiago High School’s Air Force JROTC program, brings teams from around the area to compete and test their skills in competitive events, such as the precision-driven drill phases, the color guard showcases, and the inspection phase of the competition.
“We have a lot more involvement this year; we have our first real drill team competing since pre-COVID,” LtCol Meelarp said. “We have a solid marksmanship team, and our goal is to win the national championship.”
Students are busy preparing for a Marksmanship competition in Arizona on Saturday, Dec. 10, and another Drill and Raiders competition on Saturday, Dec. 17.
Earlier this year, Fontana High was one of four high schools in the U.S. to receive designation as a Marine Corps Reserve Association (MCRA) Honor Unit, demonstrating the JROTC program’s continued success in training students to become leaders in their communities.
“Our Fontana High School MCJROTC students continue to excel and set the bar even higher for themselves and their competitors,” Fontana Unified Interim Superintendent Juan M. López said. “We are incredibly proud of Fontana High’s MCJROTC program for preparing our students for excellence.”