No Water Too Cold For a Team So Hot

The female Raider team.

JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) Raiders is a team of 12 boys and 11 girls. At Blackman, this means cadets compete, as the Blackman Raider team, in many physically challenging events. 

For the last two years, the Raider team also handled Covid-19 as best they could. This year is extremely different, especially with the addition of Chief Hopper, our new JROTC staff member. 

Chief Hopper leads the team and coaches throughout the season, which comprises of four competitions. They compete in rope bridge, obstacle course, physical challenge, secret event and map test.  

Rope bridge is the main event, where a team of eight people latch and wrap a rope from two posts about 45 feet apart. The goal of the event is to clip onto the rope and pull themselves to the other side as quick as possible then disassemble and unclip everyone. 

Despite there only being about four competitions each season, the team still has a lot to look forward to. 

“I’m looking forward to placing first in District,” stated Ryan Maslak, senior. 

Maslak is this year’s Male Raider Captain and has been participating since his sophomore year. Shofner is the Female Raider Captain and has been participating in Raiders since her freshmen year. This is Chief Hopper’s first year leading the raider team.  

“High Standards, [we] want to get 1st in District, and set us up for nationals,” said Chief Hopper when asked about the future of raiders this season.  

Many people are not aware of Raiders, as it isn’t technically a sport that’s observed by Blackman. It is, in every aspect, a sport, where they compete and compete to win. 

“How demanding this is, my raiders are some of the most physically fit people at school. We do what some people only do every couple of days, every day, and that’s for the fun of it,” stated Maslak. 

They have regular practice after school on most days, perfecting all their events with simulations. With the season coming to an end, Chief Hopper and leadership have many things to hope for in the next season. 

“I hope next year, we can be communicative and have confidence in each person,” said Shofner. 

Shofner and Chief Hopper will be here next year to oversee the team and their competitions. 

“…growth of the team, seeing them grow from having a standard and exceeding that standard,” stated Chief Hopper, when asked about the hopes for the team. 

The raider team wrapped up their season on October 28 at Riverdale High School. They ended on a high as District champions with both female and male teams placing first overall.