Phoenix Fighting for First

Samuel Ferguson

On Saturday, October 24, 2015, handpicked individuals within PMA’s student body were selected to participate in the Cadet Challenge competition. All high schools that have a JROTC program participated in this event. Usually hosted at a specific high school, the event was held at Chicago State University because of the large field and landscape the university provides.  


Senior Erik Nava talks about Phoenix’s overall success before going into the competition.

“I had some confidence in our team. Compared to last year’s Cadet Challenge competition, there was a lot more competition due to the larger sizes of the other teams. This year the teams were somewhat smaller and the cadets on the teams seemed less athletic than ours,” said Nava.


Nava, a member of Phoenix’s tug-of-war team, recollects on the confidence he had in regards to those who were on the team.


“Even though we weren’t as big as other teams, we were more athletic than them which enabled us to get off of our feet quicker and tug on the rope before the other team did. Many of the teams were bigger in size, but they were slow, so our quickness put us at a major advantage,” said Nava.


Their ability to get up and pull faster than every school in the competition made them win first place overall in tug-of-war. Even though they won first place in tug-of-war, the team’s coach, SFC Walker, wasn’t too satisfied with Phoenix winning second place overall. He felt as if something suspicious was going on with the scoring.


“I’m always skeptical with the grading in regards to the challenges we participate in. The schools we compete against have a bias against Phoenix because we always win first place,” said Walker.