On November 2nd, the Central Catholic JROTC Raiders team traveled to Fort Knox, Kentucky where they competed at the U.S. Army Raider Challenge National Competition on November 3rd. The Raiders team is Central Catholic JROTC’s obstacle course team led by Army Instructors U.S. Army Retired MSG Alexander Chavez, U.S. Army Retired SFC Marcus Henry, Senior Cadet Alejandro Torres, and Junior Cadet Nikolai Aleman.
The team of cadets has been working diligently to prepare to compete amongst 180 different JROTC High School programs across the nation. The JROTC National Raider Challenge events are physically and mentally challenging, requiring teamwork, discipline, and leadership. The overall competition consisted of 5 different events including Cross Country Rescue, Physical Team Test, The Gauntlet (obstacle course), 5K Run, and the Rope Bridge over a freezing cold river. The CCHS Raiders showed up ready and focused to compete after months of dedicated and consistent training. The Kentucky weather was much different than the Texas weather competing first thing in the morning at a temperature of 34 degrees. The temperature was not a factor to the CCHS Raider Team, they pushed through and persevered through rigorous obstacle challenges that included scaling walls, long-distance running, and military challenges. This Raider team supported and encouraged each other throughout every event. Exhibiting the true meaning of brotherhood.
The team slept in the barracks on the Army base of Fort Knox to experience the military lifestyle and also tried MREs. These young men built a tighter bond with each other because they were all working together to achieve the same goal and anchored in their faith. They represented Central Catholic and Texas very well. This further solidified these young men's relationship with each other through their “Brotherhood” — Central Catholic High School’s mission to build young men of faith, camaraderie, and integrity.
The team’s physical and mental strength throughout the competition resulted in the team placing 5th in the gauntlet event and finishing as the top male team in their 5th Brigade Division consisting of 8 states. This gave the team the coveted 14th overall placement, in their first appearance, making the Central Catholic High School Raiders team the only team from Texas to place in the competition.
Author Gavin Lozano ‘24, Central Catholic’s National English Honors Society Vice President