By Jeanelys Dugrot

The Newsome High School JROTC program conducted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its obstacle course on October 29. The purpose of the obstacle course is to provide cadets with a challenging, fun but safe opportunity to promote teamwork, build individual confidence, and improve overall physical fitness.

The course consists of obstacles that are typically only found on military bases. Building the course on the Newsome campus has been an ongoing project for the Wolfpack Battalion for the past four years. After a lengthy approval process, cadet fundraising efforts and construction delays caused by the pandemic, the JROTC program finally received approval to begin using the course this past summer.

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, JROTC raider teams from 18 different high schools across Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties were invited to run through the course. These teams all returned to Newsome the following weekend to compete in the Area 9 Raider Competition. This event served as the qualifying meet for the State Raider Competition, which will take place on Saturday, December 3 at Camp Flaming Arrow Boy Scout Reservation in Lake Wales.

According to Preston Eder, cadet battalion commander and raider team captain, “The cadets are very excited about the completion of the obstacle course. This new addition will be put to great use not only by our raider teams but also by other members of the program during team building events such as field day.”

The Newsome JROTC program would like to thank Dr. Andrea Beverly, CTE supervisor, and Katie Rocha, principal of Newsome High School. The endorsement of our administration, as well as that of the many friends, families and organizations that have supported the Wolfpack Battalion, have made the obstacle course become a reality.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was sponsored by Hillsborough County School Board member Melissa Snively and State Farm, and the Area 9 Raider Competition was sponsored by the Military Order of World Wars, Sun City Chapter 226. The Newsome JROTC program appreciates their dedication and commitment to it and the future leaders of America. Pictures of the obstacle course are available at

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