Topeka ROTC teams compete in 18th annual Top City Drill Meet

Four teams from Topeka competed for the #1 spot at Highland Park High School Saturday.
Four teams from Topeka competed for the #1 spot at Highland Park High School Saturday.(Callie Holthaus)
Published: Nov. 18, 2023 at 2:30 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Topeka ROTC and color guard teams competed against each other in the Top City Drill Meet Saturday.

Teams from Highland Park, Topeka High, Topeka West, and Washburn Rural high schools met at Highland Park for the competition. They’ve been working since the beginning of the school year or longer on elaborate drill routines to impress judges.

“If they believe in themselves, we can do anything they want to do,” says 1st Sgt. Johnnie Fields, drill instructor for Topeka West’s ROTC team. “So I think we have a good team this year so far.”

Saturday they met with their counterparts from other schools to compete and show off all their hard work before heading off to bigger competitions in the spring.

“I love being able to see all our sister battalions from Topeka,” says Zachary Buffington of the Topeka West drill team. “A lot of our meets we don’t see anybody from the same area. So it’s very fun to be able to see all of these fellow people not only that are interested in drill but are also from my home.”

Alexandria Baxter, also of the Topeka West drill team, says competitions like this are beneficial for everyone participating.

“It shows that we can combine even if we’re not from the same from the same household, the same community, from the same schools,” she says.

The competition was the 18th annual Top City Drill Meet. Teams will compete at the regional and national levels in the spring.