JROTC Raiders represent Parkdale at first Maryland Army National Guard/Fairmont Heights Raiders Meet


Parkdale’s Raiders team participated in challenging, competitive and team-building activities at the first annual Maryland Army National Guard/ Fairmont Heights Raiders Meet. (photo courtesy of Luz Gaytan)

On April 2, Parkdales’ JROTC Raiders team participated in the first Maryland Army National Guard/ Fairmont Heights Raiders Meet. The Maryland Army National Guard sponsored the very first Raiders meet at Fairmont Heights High School in Landover. Including Parkdale, 12 Raiders teams competed in an all-day event of different physical challenges.

Parkdales’ Raiders started off strong with the first challenge: the Modified Army Physical Fitness Test (MAPFT). The MAPFT consisted of push-ups, curl-ups, and a one mile run. The goal was to do as many pushups and curl ups as possible under a minute as well as run a mile as quickly as possible. 

The second event the Panthers team took on was the Fireman’s Carry relay. A pair would carry their teammate from one side of the field to the other and then switch at the other end. This lift is a common practice in the military because when someone is hurt or unconscious, you would have to help them by carrying them and getting to where you have to be.

In the first group of schools that competed in the Fireman’s Carry relay, Parkdale’s Raiders team was the fastest team to get all eight members back and forth. All eight cadets made it back within less than two and a half minutes. 

As said in “Parkdale’s JROTC Raiders: A team you may want to join next year”, the cadets really did practice their knot tying skills. The knot-tying relay challenged them with three knots: the square knot, bowline, and wireman’s knot. The objective of this relay was to tie all three knots as fast as possible before the other teams. 

Another event  was the Litter Carry Relay. The teams of eight had four cadets carry a litter with 180 pounds of material on it. This was meant to demonstrate the real act in the military when there is a hurt soldier and they along with their equipment must be carried. 

The last event was the tug-of-war relay. Parkdale’s two teams started off very strong in the tug-of-war relay. The team made it to the quarter-finals in this challenge. 

This was the very first time that Parkdale’s Raiders team got to attend a competition. Throughout the school year the Raiders team had been training, exercising, and learning all the skills that allowed them to succeed in the competition. “Having this competition gave me more insight on what I should be training for,” said junior Matthew Conte. 

“It was our first ever event and everyone is still new to this. I think we did very well against the other schools considering our JROTC programs’ lack of funding and experience,” said junior and Raiders commander Eduardo Astacio. 

With their arrival before 7:45 and the competition ending at 4:00 PM, the Parkdale Raiders team had a day full of challenging, yet enjoyable, activities that tested all of their training. 

“Tug-of-war was my favorite part of the competition,” said Astacio. Conte agreed with him, adding, “Yeah tug-of- war, it helped us like, bond a lot honestly.” 

In the end the quite eventful day was a first in Parkdale’s JROTC Raiders timeline. Their very first competition, and the cadets along with Colonel Rivers can’t wait for next year’s competitions. So far the team plans to compete more next year and hopefully host a competition in our very own Panthers den. The Raiders meet meant a lot for the team and Astacio said,“We did our best and most importantly, we all had fun.”

Check out the gallery below to see all the different activities the Raiders team participated in!