VERO BEACH — Kyle Oleary of Vero Beach was honored at the beginning of the Indian River County School Board meeting Tuesday night for taking first place at the recent National High School Drill Team Championships.
Oleary received a standing ovation from a packed crowd at the School Board chamber and his trophy in the Masters Level Solo Demilitarized competition was displayed for the duration of the meeting. It was the first such Junior ROTC Championship for Vero Beach High School.
VBHS ROTC Chief Master Sgt. Wade Dues spoke proudly of the just graduated senior, who practiced for thousands of hours drilling and twirling non-shooting rifles to win the competition.
“It’s not often that a young man gets to do something that he really loves,” said Dues. “For three years Mr. Oleary has been trying to be a national champion. He went down to that competition the previous two years with his father, and he came back disappointed both times.
“I learned something from Kyle through his experiences. He didn’t give up on winning, and neither did I. The first championship is always special, and I am very proud of him.”
The 2010 Nationals were held in Daytona Beach in May. Oleary said he will travel to Texas, North Carolina and New York to compete in more events over the summer.