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Discussion: “Good Things Come In Small Packages”

in: Orienteering; General

Feb 27, 2018 12:27 AM # 
“Good Things Come In Small Packages”: That saying is used in so many ways by so many people to explain that bigger is not always better. ‘Don’t judge a gift by the size of the package’. ‘Large stores don’t always provide better quality than the small ones’, etc etc.
In Florida JROTC orienteering circles that saying could easily be applied to the South Sumter HS Orienteering Team. South Sumter has a very small NJROTC program, so small that it operates without Navy funding. However that has not stopped them from establishing their team at the top of the Florida JROTC team rankings and finishing third overall at the recent Navy Nationals JROTC Orienteering Championships, probably the highest placing ever by a Florida team.
The newly-established Florida JROTC orienteering team rankings track each teams’ results over the past 12 months, assign a point value to each result and count up to a team’s best five results over that 12 month period. Each month that new results are added to the rankings, year old results are dropped. The ranking points of the top ten teams in each category are announced as are the names of a few schools ‘knocking on the door’, close to the top ten.
How has the small South Sumter program risen to the top? It seems to have started with the dedicated parent/volunteer coaching and leadership of Bob Thompson and continued with the leadership of team captain Robert Weller and his older brother, team graduate Bryan Weller. It continues with instructor Victor Martinez getting the team to a lot of events, probably close to 20 events over the last two years and with a large team feeding improving novices on to the intermediate and advanced courses.
South Sumter is not alone with the large team/ lots of events/ quality practice formula. Lakewood Ranch and JW Mitchell High Schools are right up there as well. Gaither and Titusville who joined South Sumter at the Navy Nationals get to fewer events but are also noteworthy for their consistently strong results.
The Rankings for March 2018:
School School District
1 South Sumter Sumter 92
2 Titusville Brevard 71
3 Gaither Hillsborough 68
4 Lakewood Ranch Manatee 63
5 JW Mitchell Pasco 57
6 Boca Raton Palm Beach 54
7 Robinson Hillsborough 44
8 Dunedin Pinellas 40
9 Central Hernando 37
10 Umatilla Lake 30
10 Venice Sarasota 30
‘Knocking on the door’: West Nassau (Nassau)
Green Advanced
School School District
1 Titusville Brevard 76
2 South Sumter Sumter 71
3 Lakewood Ranch Manatee 57
4 Gaither Hillsborough 50
5 JW Mitchell Pasco 41
6 Venice Sarasota 33
7 Boca Raton Palm Beach 32
8 Francis Marion Marion 27
9 Robinson Hillsborough 26
10 Dunedin Pinellas 24
Knocking on the door: Central (Hernando)
Orange Intermediate
School School District
1 South Sumter Sumter 82
2 JW Mitchell Pasco 67
3 Lakewood Ranch Manatee 60
4 Gaither Hillsborough 52
5 Titusville Brevard 50
6 Boca Raton Palm Beach 48
7 Robinson Hillsborough 38
8 Central Hernando 36
9 Bayside Brevard 28
10 Venice Sarasota 27
10 West Nassau Nassau 27
Knocking on the door: Dunedin (Pinellas)
Yellow Novice Points
School School District
1 Gaither Hillsborough 76
2 JW Mitchell Pasco 70
3 Lakewood Ranch Manatee 69
4 South Sumter Sumter 61
5 Titusville Brevard 39
6 Robinson Hillsborough 38
7 Venice Sarasota 32
8 Central Hernando 30
8 Winter Park Orange 30
10 Umatilla Lake 29
Knocking on the door: Bayside (Brevard), Vanguard (Marion) Crystal River (Citrus)
How are the Rankings calculated?
• For each category in each event the last place team scores one point.
• Teams score one extra point for the number of teams they best in the category standings.
• The top three teams earn a 5-3-1 point bonus for placing first, second or third in the category.
• A team’s five best results over the last 12 months count in the standings.
The next Orienteering Team Rankings will be released at the end of March 2018 in advance of the Suncoast and Florida state orienteering championships.
But wait: There's more. The team from South Sumter has embarked on a fundraising campaign to get themselves to the Junior Nationals in MA at the end of April. More news about that to come!

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