The payoff for members of Evans High School Junior ROTC drill teams comes when all eyes are on them.
They practiced for months in the school's empty commons area before other students arrived in the morning, and stayed late for practice after everyone had left.
The preparation ensures everything is in sync when people are watching.
"When I'm out on that stage, it feels like I have everyone's attention," said Evans junior Cliff Bozeman, the boys drill team commander. "I'm showing off what hard work has done for me."
Girls drill team commander Tanika Boston said, "Basically, just being out on the field makes you feel like you're good enough to do anything."
Bozeman and his group, along with the girls drill team, accepted their state championship rings in the commons area Wednesday, the result of winning the state's overall platoon competition earlier this year.
The teams traveled to Daytona, Fla., to compete at nationals. The boys finished second in exhibition, behind Lakeside High, and fifth overall. The girls finished fifth in basic.
The first day in Daytona was spent practicing. The second day was the competition, which lasted until 10:30 p.m.
The group then had the chance to enjoy the beach before heading back.
The Evans drill teams are finished with competition for the year, but will perform at several events throughout the summer, including the Signal Ball at Fort Gordon.
Davis signs to play at Coastal Carolina
The pipeline from Columbia County to the South Carolina coast continued with Kelsey Davis' college decision.
The Aquinas senior and Grovetown resident will play soccer for Coastal Carolina University.
Davis started four years at forward for the Irish, who won three region titles during that time. Davis chose Coastal over Georgia State University, Western Kentucky University, Lincoln Memorial University, King College, the University of North Alabama, the University of South Alabama and USC Aiken. Davis plans to attend the Chanticleers' camp in June and will begin preseason practice in August.
Blazing into town
Augusta's semi-pro women's basketball franchise, the Augusta Blaze, will be playing its home games in the gym at Patriots Park.
The team formerly played in Atlanta while keeping the Augusta tag. The team is coached by Erica Stokes.
The Blaze will play host to the USA Elite on Saturday at 4 p.m.
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