This past February, when most other kids the same age were eating cereal and watching Saturday morning cartoons, a team of local young athletes were up at the crack of dawn prepping themselves to earn a spot at this year’s Junior Olympics in Dallas, Texas. The crew headed to the Maryland State Taekwondo National Qualifier at Fort Meade to take on the best athletes from around the mid-Atlantic region.
Twenty-five members of the Crofton-based Vuong’s Competition Team qualified and are now on the road to Dallas.
Red Belts: Momo Ward, Sara Arlen
Blue Belts: Kevin Bimson, Alaura Camp, Jodi Evans, Jonathan Kline, Levi Kline, Jaden Olley
Green Belts: Corey Sissel, Jack Frey, Brady Hannon, Lucy Kopin, Quinn Morris, Thomas Nolan, Tristen Rogers, Tyler Vuong, Tommy Williams
Yellow Belts: Michael Brandao, Dillon Flores, Lucas Flores, Cole Hazard, Andy Kittleson, Christopher Smith, Jada Stowe, Cassius Waller
We’ve started this blog so that members of the Crofton community can cheer the team on as they works towards personal excellence in a sport that demands discipline, dedication, honor and precision. To even participate on the team, each athlete had to demonstrate citizenship, leadership and scholarship in their schools—a requirement that head coach Senior Master Chien Vuong has long upheld for his students.
At the February tournament, Lt. Col. (P) Edmund Barrett, commander of Headquarters Command Battalion at Fort Meade echoed the sentiment at the February tournament, discussing how the military and Taekwondo are similar value-based organizations who are producing our next generation of leaders.
"These are the kids that are going to show discipline," he said. "They're going to get good grades, they're going to work hard in school, they're sometimes going to stand up for the kid who's getting picked on. And I love that about you guys. You're the kind of kids we like having around."
We hope you will participate in the journey through our photos, videos and stories. We’ve got a great group of kids and we know it will be an adventure! Next stop on our journey? The North Carolina State Taekwondo Championships/National Qualifying event in Greensboro, NC.