By Johnny Ha
Capturing back-to-back Spring Comp titles, Galileo’s JROTC came out victorious in the annual JROTC Spring Comp held at Abraham Lincoln High School on May 7th. Galileo’s Silent Drill Team’s (SDT) top finish, along with Drum Corps (DC) 2nd place finish, helped Galileo win 1st place in the overall competition.
Galileo’s JROTC was satisfied with the overall results and performances of the competition. Galileo’s SAI, Sarge Hardee said, “[Spring Comp] was a great event; the students put in a lot of effort to bring out great performances. What makes me proud of the students is taking 1st place all the time. I always feel excellent about coming in 1st place and how great the students are; all we do is win, win, win, so that’s a great thing. The students practiced hard after school and were very prepared for it, so hard work pays off.”
In addition to winning the overall competition, Galileo’s SDT also made history by winning back-to-back 1st place for the first time since 2002-2003. The SDT was proud of their back-to-back win. SDT LET 1, sophomore Tommy Zeng said, “I feel extremely happy placing first this year and making my whole team feel rewarded for our hard work and effort that we sacrificed this school year. I’m especially happy for our senior leaders, winning back-to-back 1st place before graduating.”
SDT Co-Captain, junior Alexander Wong added, “Today’s drill was definitely the best drill we’ve ever done. Even though we made individual mistakes during the performance, the team was able to push through and persevere and I’m very proud of them for that. I know for a fact that no other drill team in the city worked as hard as us. So when we got called up for 1st place, it was already expected that we were going to win. I feel a lot more content for my team getting back to back 1st place and we’re already trying to get that three-peat for next year.”
Galileo’s SDT practiced everyday after school from September until May to prepare for the competition. Most of the time, practices were off campus and they also had many weekend practices to help prepare the team better for the competition. Alexander said, “This year, we actually had a high expectation to keep because we’re the defending city champs, so there was a lot of pressure in and out of the team, but we put a lot on the line this year and it definitely paid off.”
Similar to SDT, Galileo’s DC Team repeated their performance from last year by coming in 2nd place, although many felt they should have won 1st place. DC Captain, senior Waimin Louie said, “My team was amazing and they deserved 1st place, but 2nd place is where we stand now. Knowing that we were only a few points off for 1st was devastating, but I think placing 2nd will give next year’s team the drive to get the 1st place trophy because we practiced all year round for performances and parades. Making a drill that amazed the crowd and the judges was hard because Drum Corps is one of the most difficult teams out of all three Spring Competition teams, but the results were expected because with our drill, I knew we were definitely going to place either 1st or 2nd.”
DC LET 1 Snare, junior Ronald Liu added, “Although it was disappointing getting 2nd place two years in a row, we were better both in our performances and as a team compared to last year. Especially since our captain, Waimin, Alexander Wong, Jasmine Dao, and I are the only upperclassmen currently in the team, we can only improve from here on out. Placing 2nd will only be a stepping stone for us to take 1st place.”
Galileo’s DC Team practiced every weekday and some weekends. They practiced for the whole spring break and almost everyday on the last month before the competition. On typical school days, they practiced for around 1-2 hours and on weekends, they practiced for 7 hours. “Powerhouses like Lowell, Lincoln, and Burton were our biggest competitors, so my officers and I knew that we needed to make a drill that kept the audience entertained and the judges amazed,” said Waimin.
Those who attended the competition and witnessed Galileo’s fascinating performances were all impressed. Senior Jacky Pan said, “Spring Comp was great because I felt the excitement in the air as all the schools did their best drilling, singing, and playing. It was great to see all of the team’s hard work finally paying off. I thought Galileo’s performance was the best, especially our Drum Corps and Girl’s Drill Team; watching [their performances] was the highlight of the day. I had no doubt in my mind that Galileo would come in 1st place because all of Galileo’s cadets worked hard and showed the other schools that they are the best in the city.”
Photo courtesy of Alexander W., Waimin L., & Kelly L.