Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Springstead High students take Army challenge


The three black trucks unloaded behind Springstead High School and changed the area into a U.S. Army Strength in Action Zone. Students were invited to visit throughout the day to learn what the Army has to offer.

Sgt. John Gans was one of the recruiters on hand from the Brooksville Army recruiting office to answer questions. When the students arrived, they were asked to take a registration survey to determine whether they have any interest in the military. It was for students age 16 or older, but Sans said: "It's their choice. No pressure. None whatsoever."

There was plenty to do at the site to encourage team building, assess strength and experience simulated helicopter flight. The simulated helicopters were the most popular. Two by two the students were strapped in and closed into the simulators, which then moved into a takeoff, banked and went practically upside down while shooting at targets.

The team-building challenge had three parts for teams of four. The first part was a mat with raised blocks spaced down its sides. The students had to move two boards from one end to the other, crossing from one block to the next without touching the mat.

The next segment was academic. The students were encouraged to answer three questions about geography, math and code breaking. Then it was on to the third part: push-ups.

These were not ordinary push-ups, but box push-ups. The students arranged themselves perpendicular to each other into a square, put their feet on the back of the person adjacent to them and did the push-ups in tandem. The number was tracked on buttons they each hit as they went down. Five push-ups were required to finish the event.

Junior Sasha Spalding, 16, did the challenge and said the push-ups were the hardest. Her teammate junior Peter Napoli, 16, said, "There really wasn't a hard part."

Another teammate, junior Caleb Shellabarger, 17, said the math question was the toughest part. "It was a challenging question. We worked together and got it done."

Senior Erika Boone, 18, said the simulator was her favorite part of the zone. She went on it three times. The first time was "kind of a surprise," she said. The second and third times were "kind of cool."

She did the course with three others and said, "Everything was fun, except the push-ups."

Senior Josiah Ramsey, 17, liked the simulator, too. "I think it was extremely fun," he said.

Senior Craig Downing, 18, said the simulator was very realistic. "It'd be a little bit better if you could control it, but it's a fun little ride."

Senior Jessica Richards, 18, really enjoyed it. "I loved it," she said. "I was scared the first time, but it was amazing."

Sophomore Frank Gardner, 16, who did 40 push-ups at the strength assessment platform, said the simulator was "very realistic and very cool." He said he hopes to join the military as a mechanic.

Springstead High students take Army challenge 02/24/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 3:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics


    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips


    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.