Decorated Trojans build tradition

It’s definitely no secret that Catawba County embraces its strong tradition in high school sports. It could be the state’s best.

However, what if I told you the area’s strongest program is one that’s gone mostly unnoticed in recent years? Would you believe me?

It all comes down to what you consider a sport. For 33 young men and women at Bandys High School, there’s no question at all.

In less than a decade, Bandys has established one of the most successful JROTC military drill teams in the nation.

The team won the equivalent of back-to-back state championships in the past two years and is considered the “Best of the Best” in the nation’s fourth brigade, which includes 347 Army JROTC teams from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia.

The unit currently ranks as the No. 9 military drill team in the nation.
Bandys army instructor Cameron Sloan says that’s pretty good for a little school with a farm on it.

To read more of this story, pick up the weekend edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.