Robertsdale High NJROTC presents National Colors at Daytona 500 NASCAR race

Staff Report
Posted 2/28/22

Members of the Robertsdale High School’s NJROTC presented the Nation’s Colors at the Daytona 500 NASCAR race held on Sunday, Feb. 20. The unit participated with units from Sprayberry High …

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Robertsdale High NJROTC presents National Colors at Daytona 500 NASCAR race

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Members of the Robertsdale High School’s NJROTC presented the Nation’s Colors at the Daytona 500 NASCAR race held on Sunday, Feb. 20. The unit participated with units from Sprayberry High School and Lassiter High School, both from Georgia.
“It was an exciting day for the multi-unit Color Guard whose members had not practiced together until the previous day and had never been inside of the raceway,” said Lieutenant Commander Frank Starr, RHS. “Led by RHS Cadet Ashlynn Simmons, the detail took their position flanking the stage where country music recording star Trace Adkins sang the National Anthem. Standing resolutely, with flags unfurled against a picture-perfect blue sky, the Color Guard presented on cue without flaw in front of a crowd of over 150,000 and a television audience of nearly nine million.”
The presentation concluded with a flyover by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and to roaring applause.
“Despite expecting a cue from the production team that never came, Cadet Simmons took the initiative and commanded the detail off of the field and to the pit area expertly as if the team had practiced for weeks,” Starr said.
He said the success of the Color Guard reflected well on the team members, the NJROTC program and all three schools.

“The discipline, confidence, initiative, and professionalism demonstrated by the cadets were a direct result of their training and commitment to excellence,” said Starr. “It takes a great deal of confidence for teenagers to stand before such an audience and hit every mark. The training provided by the instructors proved pivotal in preparing the cadets to make the ceremony look easy. The cadets were ecstatic afterwards and will certainly never forget the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stand front and center in Daytona.”
Color Guard members included:
Right Rifleman – Russell Yoharry (SHS)
National Color Bearer – Ashlynn Simmons (RHS) (Commander)
Army Color Bearer – Lisbeth Mejia-Martinez (SHS)
Marine Corps Color Bearer – Gavin Brannon (RHS)
Navy Color Bearer – Victoria Burkhardt (RHS)
Air Force Color Bearer – Zola Showers (RHS)
Space Force Color Bearer – Patrick Tilt (LHS)
Coast Guard Color Bearer – James McLaughlin (LHS)
POW/MIA Flag Bearer– Bryce Simmons (RHS)
Left Rifleman – Jean Dorcin (SHS)
Instructors:
1stSgt Charles Aguilar (RHS)
1stSgt Tyrone White (SHS)
1stSgt Lorenzo Cox (LHS)

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