Ozark Raider team named champion, US Army National Raider Championship


OZARK, Mo.– “I will remember this for years to come. ”

The Ozark High School JROTC Raider team made school history in February. The mixed team won its first national championship at the US Army National Raider Championship in Molena, Georgia.

A Raider competition is a physical fitness test. The Ozark team placed in the top four in each of the five events.

“We’re kind of a fitness conscious team,” said Elliott Godwin, senior and team captain of Ozark.

The US Army National Raider Championship normally takes place in November.

“Normally we have different competitions that are spaced out and it’s easy to stay on that personal motivation to have a competition after a competition,” said Godwin.

The competition was delayed until February due to covid-19.

“Now you had nothing but exercise for four months, and it was very, very difficult to keep up with it. Stick with the diet.

Kopelyn DeLong, who placed first in the women’s division in the Ultimate Raider event, said she was a bit lacking in practice for the event.

“I kinda got there a little later than all of these guys,” DeLong said.

She said her history with cross country helped her prepare for the event.

“So I took training. I just helped as much as I could, ”DeLong said. “I walked in and asked, ‘Where can I help? “”

After adjusting, February arrived and she participated in four events.

The team placed third in the gauntlet, first in the 5 km mountain, second in litter transport, fourth in the ultimate raider and rope bridge, the team placed second.

Finally, the winner was announced – Ozark High School.

“You hear the fifth place team called, the fourth place team called, the third place team called and the longer, and the longer without calling Ozark, the more excited you get,” said Danny Cazier, lead instructor. from the military for the Ozark JROTC program. “It was a great experience.”

“It’s pretty amazing,” DeLong said. “Cross country is more individual, and going into something like that is more team and like family. I didn’t know I was going to have the chance to experience this.

“Not only is it my last year, but it’s also my teammate’s a lot last year, so we wanted to come out in style,” said Godwin.

Coach Cazier said he believes each of his competing JROTC teams have the opportunity to win a championship this year.

He says history has shown it to be unlikely, but Ozark is actually the only school in the country to ever pass it.

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