Ripon High JROTC instructor Pat Dunn found the silver lining in the Silver and Black’s record-setting defeat to the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
Before Peyton Manning and the high-powered AFC West champions set new NFL marks for points scored and passing yards in a season, five Ripon High cadets marched to midfield, presenting the United States and California flags for the estimated 51,500 in attendance.
Blake Morrow, Sarah Hall, Chris Fisher, Chris Delgado and Cody LeHan were invited by the California National Guard at the last minute to present the colors for Sunday’s regular-season finale. Morrow and Hall were members of the color guard team that finished eighth at the U.S. Army Cadet Command JROTC National Drill Championships in April.
The cadets were chaperoned to O.co Coliseum by Ripon JROTC co-instructor Sgt. Butch Perry and Ripon High principal Lance Morrow.
Dunn, a retired lieutenant colonel who also oversees Ripon’s nationally-acclaimed JROTC program, did not travel with his cadets. Still, he called it a banner day for a program full of shining moments.
It’s the first time a Ripon High color guard has presented the colors at an NFL game, Dunn said.
“It was a last-minute deal but we said sure,” he added. “It’s an awesome deal. Most of us are not Raiders fans but we’ve never been able to do this, so we thought it would be pretty cool.”