For the third consecutive year, Nease High School's Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) won the Area 12 Drill Championships on March 4 in Douglas, Georgia, besting the top 16 programs in northern Florida and the state of Georgia and earning an automatic invitation to next month's Navy National Drill Championships.
Last year, Nease placed sixth overall at the National Drill Championships.
Fifty-nine NJROTC programs within Area-12 competed at local drill meets during the fall and winter, with the top 16 teams advancing to the Area 12 Championships.
"This title serves as a reminder that hard work and perseverance pays off," Naval Science Instructor Gunnery Sgt. Duane Hanson said.
"We competed against some incredibly talented schools during the competition."
The drill competition is a compilation of events covering marching drill, academics, and athletics.
Nease placed first in color guard and armed basic drill; second in personnel inspection, overall drill, overall athletics and push-ups; and third in unarmed exhibition drill, academics, sit-ups and 8 x 220 relay.
Several cadets received individual medals for top performances. Erin Sass was first overall in push-ups; and Cali Vaughn, Lilly Short and Erin Sass finished first, second and third respectively in sit-ups.
"Having won the Area 12 Championships the past two years, we felt a lot of pressure to perform as well this year," said cadet Battalion Commander Jacob Hunt.
"We've got a close-knit group and really wanted another shot for a national title."
Nease will now travel to the Navy Nationals at Naval Air Station Pensacola, competing against the best 25 NJROTC units in the nation on April 7-8.