By Steven Fletcher
Gloucester High School's Marine Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps drill team is heading to Daytona Beach for the national high school drill team championships tonight, and the squad is holding one last tune-up at 7:30 p.m. in the high school field house to offers residents the chance to see the final preparations.
The school's JROTC drill team qualified for the national championships again this year, and 113 schools will be competing in two national divisions, challenge and masters.
"Our team is motivated and has been practicing since last August and is as prepared as they can be for this challenge," said JROTC instructor Richard Muth. "They will represent themselves, our school and community with pride, and hope to bring the championship home to Gloucester."
Cadets' fund-raising efforts and donations from the community funded the trip.
The Gloucester cadets will stop at the U.S. Marine Corps Museum in Quantico Va., on the way before arriving in Daytona on Thursday.
They'll compete on Saturday.
The boys' team, comprised of 14 boys, including eight freshmen, will compete in armed regulation drill, color guard, armed personnel inspection and armed exhibition drill.
The girls' team, of 20 girls, will compete in unarmed regulation drill, color guard, unarmed personnel inspection and unarmed exhibition drill.
Steven Fletcher may be contacted at 1-978-283-7000 x3455, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @stevengdt.