July 2011- Moon Valley High School’s Navy Junior Recruit Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) earned second place in the Navy JROTC Academic National Championships held in Washington DC.
Juniors Dane Jones and Cody Rocco were joined by sophomore Christine Ellis and freshman Logan Mellaci to round out the team of four. The road to Washington involved three rounds of online academic competition, based upon the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and hosted by the College Options Foundation. Along the way, Moon Valley eliminated 270 other Navy JROTC teams from around the world to land in the top four and earn the week-long trip to the nation’s capital.
Their first face to face Navy competition was against last year’s runner- up, Georgetown, from Georgetown, SC. Both teams performed exceptionally well, but in the end, Moon Valley moved to an undefeated record of 5-0. In the Navy finals, they faced a very talented Stephen F. Austin high school team from Sugar Land, TX. After three rounds of competition, Moon Valley held a slight lead. The two very closely matched teams fought fiercely to the last question, where Austin edged out Moon Valley by the smallest possible margin of victory.
Aside from the academic championships, the students were rewarded with two days of historical sight- seeing. They were able to visit the Vietnam, Korean and World War Two Memorials; the Washington, Grant, and Lincoln Memorials; Arlington National Cemetery; the Smithsonian; the Natural, American History and Holocaust Museums; and the National Archives.
Not resting on their laurels, Ellis and Melacci are already looking to recruit two new team members to replace Rocco and Jones who, as seniors, will be ineligible to compete next year.
Congratulations, Moon Valley NJROTC!