Raiders team finishes third at state competition


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It’s always nice to see hard work pay off, and that was certainly the case for the Viera High Army JROTC Raiders at last month’s State Raider Championships.

Viera finished in third place — a program best — in the event held at Camp Flaming Arrow in Lake Wales on Dec. 13.

The team camped out at the site the night before the event and awoke to 41-degree temperatures, which made the Rope Bridge event more of a challenge — one Viera conquered with a second-place finish. 

Viera would get another strong performance in the Cross Country Rescue event. All 10 Raiders got a perfect score on their first aid test, then finished the course in 5:51, which was also good enough for second place.

The team would go on to finish seventh in the 5K run, fourth in the fitness test and second in the tire flip.

Those results put Viera third overall, one spot ahead of Merritt Island and also one position ahead of last year’s performance.

A number of VHS Raider parents attended the event.

“We have a great support network through our JROTC Booster Club that always supplies our Raiders with snacks and drinks throughout each competition,” Michael Sonnenschein, retired Master Sgt. who coached the team, wrote in an email.

“The Raiders are losing five seniors from this team, but look forward to rebuilding and competing next year. We are very proud of our program and marvel at the quality of cadets that step through our doors each day.”