Lynchburg, VA - E.C. Glass High School's JROTC took center stage in state-wide competition this weekend, becoming the first school in Virginia history to secure first place honors for the fourth straight year. This 'four-peat' marks the culmination of a winning season that included a nationwide first place title last month in the Color Guard event at Air Force Nationals in Washington, D.C.
Glass Guard Commander, Cadet Lt Col. Will Johnston accepted the first place trophy on behalf of his team from the Brig. Gen. Wayne A. Wright, Deputy Adjutant General of the Virginia National Guard. The General also presented first place trophies to E.C. Glass for its performances in Exhibition, Regulation Drill, Color Guard, and Team Inspection events. "I was proud to accept this recognition on behalf of our team," Johnston said. E.C. Glass narrowly edged out Franklin County H.S. and Grassfield H.S. for the title.
"This is teamwork all the way," said freshman Cadet Jennifer Ayala. "Everybody had to bring it to the floor today, but it took all of us working together for a long time to make us such a good team."
Team coach Senior Master Sgt. Donald Dougherty emphasized what he calls a "whole person" concept as key to this championship. "It's an honor to be associated with these fine professionals," he said. "Our team members must excel in everything they do. While they clearly stand out in these military competitions, they also shine in their academic pursuits and always represent the Air Force and ECG with pride."
According to Johnston, next year's team will begin practicing before school even starts next fall. "I see another successful season ahead because we have so many impressive freshmen who will step up into leadership positions." Johnston won his fourth championship medal and now looks forward to studying engineering at Virginia Military Institute after graduation. He was selected for an Air Force ROTC college scholarship and hopes to pursue a career as an Air Force Officer.
Next up for the ECG team is a summer drill camp.