More than 70 JROTC cadets, as well as eighth graders considering joining the program next year, joined together in the practice fields outside Alice High School Saturday for the annual JROTC Field Day.

“We do this every year in April,” JROTC instructor Col. Blair Berkland said.

The field day, which was mandatory for cadets to attend, began at 8 a.m. and went to 3 p.m. It featured a drill competition among the program’s flights as well as several games like kickball, dodgeball and tug-of-war.

Cadets were also treated to a barbecue and, new this year, a prize raffle.

“We started a program this year where we award tickets for merits,” Col. Berkland said. “If a cadet did something good, they received instant recognition for it in the form of a ticket.”

Berkland said the tickets for merits program was conceived by Corps Cmdr. Jose Zapata, who he said came up with the idea last semester.

“It was one of the best ideas I’ve heard in a long time,” Berkland said. “There are a lot of companies that do that now.”

Berkland said cadets collected the tickets throughout the year and were able to use them during the field day to use in a drawing for prizes such as T-shirts and hats.

Cadets who earned at least five tickets also had the option of turning them in for the chance to throw a pie into the faces of either Col. Berkland or Msgt. Mary Lane.