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Pioneer Battalion brings home trophies

Get ready to have a packed trophy case at Warren County High School. The Pioneer Battalion JROTC Raider team is bringing home plenty of hardware.

The Pioneer Battalion showed out Saturday at Clarkrange, surging to the top in a competition featuring 13 schools. The WCHS squad won the male division while also taking third place in the co-ed division. Along the way, both teams claimed many individual event titles as well.

“I’m tremendously proud,” said First Sergeant Tim Howard, who leads the school’s JROTC program. “These are kids that may not be skilled in organized sports, but they found something they loved doing. This adventure including training for events and combining work ethic, grit, leadership and teamwork.”

Success isn’t something that comes as a shock to the Pioneer Battalion. The local JROTC team is currently ranked eighth in the nation, earning that lofty spot by showing out in last year’s US Army JROTC Raider Nationals.

On its way to Saturday's tournament championship, the male Pioneer Battalion claimed the top spots in the tire stacker, truck pull, rope carry/run, obstacle course, hill trekker and strength test events. The boys were also second in the rope bridge and cross-country rescue.

It has been months of grueling training in the sweltering heat – First Sergeant Howard said his squads began training June 14 – to get to Saturday’s ultimate goal. Even then, it took some extraordinary efforts to bring home the trophies.

Every event showed the team’s strength and endurance, along with its ability to work together quickly and efficiently. Some events were a single grueling task, but the obstacle course combined all kinds of tasks to test the Pioneer Battalion.

“The obstacle course has a team conducting obstacles such as walls, rope climbs, monkey bars, high crawls and various exercises like pull-ups and jumping through tires. The fastest team wins,” said First Sergeant Howard.

Teamwork was the word of the day Saturday when the Pioneer Battalion were showing out in Clarkrange.


The boys from the Pioneer Battalion were the fastest Saturday, while the co-ed team took second in the same event.

The hill trekker also paired together a multitude of tasks while pushing the athletes to the brink. Teams of 10 had to navigate up and down a steep incline while working around cones. The individuals were also carry 35-40 pound rucksacks and could not let go of a 15-foot rope.

“They have to support each other and know each other’s capabilities to not release the rope,” said First Sergeant Howard, who pointed out there was a time penalty for dropping the rope.

The co-ed team placed third in the hill trekker and was second in the tire stack and rope bridge.

Team 1 for the Pioneer Battalion was led by seniors Thomas Turpin and Lucas Pescevic, while Team 2 was ran by senior Antonio Hernandez and junior Cole Pendergraph.

The Pioneer Battalions will get a chance to got for more titles in September. The local JROTC teams are set to take part in the ‘Bring the Sting’ tournament Saturday, Sept. 11 at Fairview High School.

CHECK OUT THE Pioneer Battalion teams in action Saturday

(Via First Sergeant Howard)

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