By Bill Robinson
About 300 Junior Reserve Officer Training cadets from 21 high schools in Kentucky and Tennessee came to Eastern Kentucky University on Saturday for the seventh annual EKU Pershing Rifles Drill Classic.
Cadets competed in drills at the squad and platoon levels, as well as in single, dual and team exhibitions.
Each team also earned points as they were quizzed on knowledge as well as maintenance of their uniforms and equipment.
The top three teams were from high schools near Fort Campbell and Fort Knox, where many of the students have parents on military duty.
The top two teams were from West Creek High School in Clarksville, Tenn., near Fort Campbell. West Creek’s all-female team came in first, followed by West Creek’s all-male team.
A co-educational team from Central Hardin High School near Fort Knox came in third.
EKU’s Pershing Rifles Team has won the national college-level competition for two of the past three years.
Conducting the annual competition helps EKU recruit some of the region’s best high school cadets, said Cadet Capt. Merrick Stewart, spokesperson for the competition.