By Linda Wilkins
Baylor hosted the eighth annual Air Force ROTC Texas Field Day Competition Saturday, placing second out of the eight detachments that competed.
The University of Texas at San Antonio won the competition with 303 points, Baylor came in second with 210 points and the University of Texas came in third with 171 points.
The other detachments in attendance were Texas Christian University, Texas A&M, Texas State University, the University of North Texas and Angelo State University.
The competition is known as the “Battle for the Bomb,” McKinney senior Bradley McCullough, cadet first lieutenant, said, because the trophies are actually decommissioned bombs. McCullough helped organize the event.
“The school who wins every year has to host next year,” McCullough said. “So it’s kind of a love-hate thing with winning [the competition].”
He said there is a lot of work that goes into planning the event and hosting it can be difficult. Baylor has won the last two years, he said.
The opening ceremonies began at 8:30 a.m. and the actual competitions began at 9 a.m.
The competitions involved 11 different sporting events including volleyball, basketball, dodgeball and ultimate Frisbee, among others. Angelo State University senior Perry Byrd, cadet third class, participated in the weight-lifting competition, which he said was nerve racking and is always tough. But there is also a sense of friendship at the event, he said.
“The camaraderie always surprises me,” Byrd said. He said many participants know cadets from other schools from their field training during the summer, and said he thinks that is where much of the camaraderie stems from.
Lt. Col. Carl Wooten said to coordinate the event is an “outstanding opportunity” for young cadets to gain experience in organizing and hosting an event. He said while it is nice to win, he enjoyed seeing the event run smoothly for the students who organized it.
Participants agreed the competition is both friendly and serious.
“It’s a great event and it gives cadets a chance to come out here and show their competitive spirit,” Major Brant Fryar, with Angelo State University, said.
UTSA Houston senior Duncan Taylor said although the UTSA detachment won, everyone is on the same team — the Air Force — at the end of the day.
“It gets very competitive, but afterward it’s all just high fives,” Taylor said.
At the closing ceremony, the Texas Christian University detachment dedicated the event to a ‘fallen warrior.’ While the participants stood at attention, the details of the death of Air Force Marine Lance Corporal Ramon T. Kaipat, who died in Afghanistan last Wednesday, were read aloud.
The cadet who read the details shouted, “Honored warrior.” The participants then replied, “You are not forgotten.”
Afterward, the participants sang the first verse of the Air Force song.