what, exactly is a raider?

~~They are warriors. They are the Black Knight Raiders of SMA. It’s a brotherhood, a sisterhood, a tight family bond unlike any other. They are bound by their common training, experiences, strength, passion, and dedication. Only they know and understand the commitment, effort, discipline, sacrifice and heart it takes to succeed on the Raider team. They do not brag or boast, but rather it’s a quiet confidence they carry with them. They are confident and motivated because their coaches have over-prepared them for battle. The grueling schedule of daily practices… 6am runs, the punishing Hill at the Celery Fields, hours of taking their bodies to the edge, finding strength they never knew they possessed, pushing themselves through the pain, injuries and challenges. When their bodies betray them, the only thing that carries them along is sheer will and the support of their brothers and sisters. Most of their weekends are spent on campouts preparing and competing in battle – always victorious. They conquer, never complaining, and never doubting that it’s all worth it. They believe in themselves, in their coaches, and especially in the family they built. They focus on their goals: Nationals, Districts, State. Faster, further, better, best. Raiders lead the way. I had the great privilege of accompanying this amazing group of warriors to Raider Nationals in Molena, Georgia this weekend. I am humbled, completely in awe, and immeasurably proud of each of them. They represented Sarasota Military Academy with complete honor and integrity. With the hearts and souls of courageous warriors they competed against the best in the nation – they gave their blood, sweat, and tears, and left it all on the course in all events, with greatness fought for, and truly earned. Out of 81 teams, our Lady Raiders tied for 1st in the nation, and our Male Raiders 8th! What a fantastic accomplishment! My heartfelt gratitude goes out to MSG Browning, SGM Collis and SGM Daly, whose dedication to this team is both priceless and genuine. The time, wisdom, patience, sacrifice and love that you have invested in our daughters and sons is truly appreciated.

- Lisa and Lexi Williamson- 8 Nov, 2013

In Their Own Words.....

Parting thoughts from past Raiders.  What impact Raiders had on them, memories, advice to future Raiders...basically, their final good-bye and words of wisdom to the team- past, present and future.