Judging by a special presentation Thursday, the future of Carroll County’s youth appears to be very bright.
At the beginning of the Carroll County Board of Supervisors’ meeting, a group of students from Carroll County High School took turns addressing the board. The results were awe inspiring.
The meeting began with a presentation of colors by the CCHS Junior ROTC program as those in attendance said the Pledge of Allegiance. Members of the CCHS Chorus also sang the National Anthem.
Cadet Lt. Col. Stephen Krejci then gave a brief overview of the Junior ROTC program at the school. Participating is very high this year with 18 females and 46 males, he said, one of the largest numbers the program’s ever had. The program has also received the highest honor a JROTC battalion can receive each of the last 10 years, which is represented by a gold star on their uniform.
Krejci said the JROTC team also participates in many events each year such as Raider competitions, rifle competitions, and adventures. They’ve even taken part in 25- and 50-mile hikes recently.
Just this semester, JROTC at CCHS has taken part in 15 color guard presentations, including seven during the week of Veterans Day. Team members have logged over 280 hours of community service this year.
As far as competitive events, CCHS came in first in male competition and first and second in mixed teams at its own Raider on the New event. CCHS also took first place in mixed teams at Harrisonburg and third overall at East Surry, N.C. Carroll’s JROTC program always takes first in the 5K event. Of course, it helps that four of the top five runners on CCHS’s cross country team also participate in JROTC.
Krejci said he was honored by the Scottish Rite recently for being an exceptional cadet in leadership and academics, one of just seven cadets in Virginia to receive the honor. He said graduates of the Junior ROTC program going straight into the military start at a pay grade of E3, much higher than the E1 pay grade for those not from an ROTC program.
“Cadet Krejci, you are an honor to the county and to the program and I am sure you and these other men and women will be successful after Carroll County High School,” Supervisor Bob Martin said, adding that Krejci is the highest ranking cadet at CCHS and that he has applied to West Point.
Following Krejci’s speech, sponsor Dina Reece introduced CCHS sophomore Chanz Quesenberry, president of the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes. A sophomore lineman on the CCHS varsity football team, Quesenberry said he wanted to share a quick devotion God had laid on his heart, one that had especially helped him in his life recently.
Quesenberry said as football fans, we’ve all seen those plays where the quarterback is going for the win. He takes a snap, steps back and looks at the clock running down with his team needing a score to win.
“But as he stands there, he can feel his pocket closing around him. He knows he has to throw that ball or he is going to get sacked,” Quesenberry said. “And he is looking for his receiver, he knows he is going to get sacked, there is a big defensive end coming, a big 300-pounder about to crush him. He stands up and he has faith that his receiver is going to be there to catch the ball. And he lobs it up and he just has the faith that his receiver is going to be there and have the catch and they are going to win the game.”
Quesenberry said faith is a word we say often, but he asked what is the definition of faith? To find that answer, he said he turns to Hebrews 11:1, which says “my faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
He said faith is present in the game of football and in our everyday lives. The quarterback has faith in his line to block for him, the running back has faith in the quarterback to give him the ball, players have faith in their coaches, and coaches have faith in their players. In our everyday lives we have faith when we sit in a chair, it will hold us up, Quesenberry said. We have faith in our cars, our computers and so many other things.
“But really in our lives it’s in those moments where we cannot see the future and when we just don’t understand what is happening or why it’s happening that faith is our confidence in God that we won’t be let down,” Quesenberry said. “Let’s take a quick moment to think just exactly what would happen if that quarterback didn’t throw the football. He would get sacked and he would lose. It’s the same for us. If we don’t have faith in our lives, then we would be crushed and we would lose. If you really think about it, in the end, if we don’t have faith, what do we have? At the end of our lives, if we don’t have faith we have nothing. Sure, if we do have faith to throw the ball in our lives we are still going to be hit, but we are not losers because of what Jesus Christ has done for us, so today, this afternoon I would like to just ask a simple question. Are you going to have the faith to throw the ball in your life? Because you never know, when you do you just might have a touchdown.”
After Quesenberry’s devotional, Board of Supervisors’ Chairman David Hutchins thanked Quesenberry for his words.
“It’s not always the popular thing to do today to express your beliefs in Jesus Christ and those things, and it is comforting to know that at least in our little part of the world we still have those beliefs and they are evident,” Hutchins said. “Thank you, young man. I applaud you, members of this board applaud you, and we support you. Thank you. We appreciate you being here.”
The presentation was concluded with a patriotic medley by the CCHS Chorus that included bits of When Johnny Comes Marching Home, the Marine Hymn, America the Beautiful, Yankee Doodle Dandy and many others. Chorus Director Chandra Harmon told the board that the chorus program continues to be successful with 35 members recently earning All-District honors.