School News

News for Marion High School

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News The Marion High School JROTC Rifle Marksmanship Team finished their season with a flurry of competitions over the past two weeks. In their final three matches the cadets brought home top-tier placements in two separate state championships, as well as another JROTC regional match. Cadet Levi Hofmann, a sophomore at MHS, demonstrated he is the second-best shooter in the state of Indiana.

Competing for the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Indiana State Championship, the Giants turned in a solid performance, earning themselves their second state runner-up title this year. The CMP State Championship pitted the Giants against any high school aged team from across the state — not just JROTC teams. In December, the Giants earned the state runner-up title against just JROTC programs.

At the CMP State Championship, Hofmann led the Giants in scoring and secured himself the title as the second-best shooter in the state.

“I am really proud of this accomplishment,” said Hofmann, who was the state JROTC marksmanship champion last year. “It is good to see that all of my practice time and hard work is paying off.”

The Giants also competed in a separate state championship on Saturday hosted by the Indiana American Legion. There, the Giants team, sponsored by the Bryon Thornburg American Legion Post #10, nearly swept all the top placements. The Giants earned the overall highest team score, finishing in first place. 

Once again, Hofmann earned the second place title, having tied for first in the overall point score but losing in the bulls-eye count tie-breaker.

Hailey Teeguarden, MHS junior, finished fourth; Taylor Sorah, a senior, took fifth; and Josiah Hamilton, a sophomore, earned sixth. First-year shooter Korbin Elliott, an MHS freshman, set a new personal high score of 241, thus earning him the Expert Marksmanship Badge.

MHS JROTC Cadet Korbin Elliott shot a personal high score of 241, earning him an Expert Marksmanship Qualification Badge during the Indiana American Legion State Rifle Championship.

In their third match, a regional competition hosted by Concordia High School JROTC, the Giants earned another second place finish while battling against sixteen other JROTC teams. Notable finishes at the match included Hofmann finishing third, Teeguarden taking fourth, and Sorah earning fifth.

Reflecting on her four years as a member of the varsity rifle team, Sorah commented: “Marksmanship is a difficult sport. Many people think it is easy. But it is tough.”

She accumulated many state and regional competitive titles during her tenure, but she also recognized her responsibility to pass on what she has learned.

“I encouraged the team members to identify a new shooter and work with them, sharing your knowledge,” said Sorah, who also served as the team captain for the past two years. “We each need to develop those who are following in our footsteps.”

And the Giants certainly listened to what Sorah and her coaches were teaching.

“It has been a fantastic year for our rifle team,” said team coach retired Lt. Col. David Farlow. “The cadets qualified to compete at two national championships and earned two state runner-up championship titles. We also achieved great improvement in the individual marksmanship abilities of several of the team members. The cadets mentoring each other has paid big dividends.”

MHS JROTC Cadet Josiah Hamilton takes aim during the American Legion’s Indiana State Marksmanship Championship. Hamilton helped the Giants Rifle Marksmanship Team take first place overall, while he finished as the sixth-place shooter overall.

The Giants’ success has called for a change that will require even more from the rifle team members.

“Next year we will start a team who will compete in the precision category,” Farlow said. “This is a huge step up for our shooters that requires new rifles, clothing, and training.”

For the past six years, MHS cadets have competed in the sporter category. The precision category is the same level where collegiate athletes and Olympians compete. It is the top tier within the air rifle competitive categories. This move will offer the cadets the chance to compete for marksmanship scholarships to universities with rifle teams.  

“We will go from being the big fish in the little pond to becoming the minnow swimming in the ocean,” Farlow said about the advancement to the precision level. “Our top marksmen are ready for the challenge. But they will have to work hard to become competitive in this new category.”

There is also a huge price tag that goes with the move into the precision category. The rifles are very expensive, as is the specialty clothing required.

Recently, the Marion High School Alumni Association hosted an online fundraising drive to help raise the money for the purchase of the required uniforms. The Giants are well on their way to being able to outfit the new team.

“I am truly humbled by the continued support our rifle team and JORTC in general receives from the community,” Farlow said. “We are truly blessed to have such great organizations and individuals who are willing to support these fine young people as they endeavor to accomplish great things.”

Those interested in supporting the Marion High School Rifle Marksmanship Team should contact the JROTC Department at the Marion High School, 664-9051, x. 2455.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News It was another outstanding weekend for the JROTC Rifle Team and Drill/Color Guard Team as they competed against the best Army JROTC programs from within the 7th Brigade of the U.S. Army Cadet Command.

Elite teams from the nearly 250 JROTC programs in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana were put to the test to determine who were the best in their respective competitive category. Once again, the Giants demonstrated their ability to hold their own against the best from the Midwest region.

In their first-ever visit to the 7th Brigade Drill Championship, the Giant’s Unarmed Exhibition Drill Squad led by Cadet Audrey Dickerson earned a fifth place finish overall, defeating more than a dozen other veteran teams. Many of the teams that competed at the Brigade Championship are nationally ranked, having won numerous national championships.

“This was our first time to attend the Brigade Championship, so I must admit we were a bit unsure of how we would do,” said retired Command Sgt. Maj. Jon Smith, the Giants’ coach. “We have done very well this year at several regional competitions, but the Brigade Championship features the elite teams from across the Midwest. To place here is a big deal. We learned much from attending this competition.”

The cadets were feeling the pressure of the bigger stage.

“I was very nervous going into to our event,” Dickerson said. “But when we walked out onto the floor, I felt like we were going to do really well. So I wasn’t really surprised when we placed in the top five. We have worked really hard to get here.”

Other notable finishes for the Giants during the drill championship included DJ Smith, who placed 13th in the armed knockout, and I’Yela Hornaday, who placed 16th in the unarmed knockout. In these two events the Giants competed against more than 500 cadets, performing precision movements under the scrutiny of watchful drill sergeants looking for even the slightest mistake.

In the Rifle Marksmanship Championship, the Giants secured a seventh place team finish from among the 63 teams competing. The varsity team was helped by the solid shooting of cadets Taylor Sorah and Levi Hofmann, who placed 10th and 19th respectively out of 248 shooters in the match. The Giants also fielded a first-year shooter team that earned an 11th place finish in that category.

“It seems like after every competition that our drill team just keeps on getting better,” Smith said. “But the truth is, they are.”

The Giants drill team will attend their final competition of the year this weekend at.Purdue - Fort Wayne University.

The Rifle Team will also be competing Saturday at the American Legion State Championship in Seymour, IN. They are being sponsored by our Local American Legion Post #10.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News This Thursday, some of best young musicians in the area will gather together for a special performance as the Grant County Public High School Honor Band.

The public is invited to come out and enjoy this special performance, set for 7 p.m. Thursday, March 15 in the Rediger Chapel Auditorium at Taylor University in Upland.

In addition to the Honor Band, the Taylor University Wind Ensemble will also perform.

Admission is free!

The Grant County Honor Band will feature some of the top music students at each of Grant County’s five public high schools, Eastbrook, Madison-Grant, Marion, Mississinewa, and Oak Hill. It will also feature a distinguished guest conductor, who will help the musicians hone their skills as they prepare for a special performance. For this inaugural year of the Honor Band, Dr. Al Harrison of Taylor University will be the guest conductor.

Band directors from all five schools have been collaborating to make this opportunity possible for the talented young musicians around the county.

“Grant County is quickly becoming a recognized area for instrumental music, and we are so thankful to be a part of this event,” said Marion High School Director of Bands Joshua Huff. “I'm also looking forward to interacting with the other county band directors and be a part of the development of this event, which we hope to make into an annual tradition.”

Ryan Wamhoff, band director at Oak Hill High School, said the idea has created a buzz.

“There is great energy and comradery amongst the Grant County band directors,” he said. “Each of us can be excited about the growth and direction of our programs as well as those of our peers. It's great to see music programs not only surviving but thriving here in Grant County.” 

Joel Walters, band director at Eastbrook Jr./Sr. High School said that this new event will be a great opportunity for the students and the community.

“This is something that we as directors look forward to, and I am excited to see what comes from this collaboration,” he said. “The event will be an exciting way to recognize the hard working music students in our community.”

Cindy Walker, assistant band director at Mississinewa High School, said this opportunity will help the area’s young musicians grow.

“The Grant County Honor Band will be a great experience for our students. Not only will the kids get a chance to play some great music, but they'll get to rehearse with other outstanding musicians from their own area. It's a great way for our kids to improve,” she said. “The hope is they'll bring their knowledge and experiences back to other students in their respective bands.”

That experience is a key part of why the band directors have been working to develop this opportunity, Huff said.

“I'm extremely excited for my students at Marion to interact with some fantastic musicians from the other county schools,” he said. “One of the things we always tell our students is that while we may be rivals in athletics, music is the common bond that we all share. This will be a fantastic event for our students to learn from Dr. Harrison and the other directors. It will also be a chance for our county to come together and enjoy a concert of wonderful music.”

The newest member of the group of directors, Mykayla Neilson, recently named the director of Mississinewa’s band, said she was thrilled with this new opportunity.

“Not only am I honored to be a part of such a group,” she said, “but I am beyond excited to celebrate talented musicians in the Grant County area.”

Kristin Caudill, band director at Madison-Grant Jr./Sr. High School, expressed hope for the future of the event and the opportunities it offers.

“I'm excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the other Grant County band directors and to showcase the excellent band programs throughout Grant County,” she said. “This will be an excellent opportunity for our students to learn and perform with their peers from other Grant County schools. I'm looking forward to offering this opportunity to Madison-Grant High School students this year and seeing where this honor band goes in the future.”
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News The Marion High School JROTC Drill Team earned several more victories early this month while competing at the Indianapolis Public Schools Drill Competition.

The Giants continued their successful season by securing two first place finishes, a third and a fifth place finish in the four events in which they competed against teams from 12 other high schools.

The Giants brought home first place finishes in the squad armed exhibition and the squad regulation drill events. They pulled a third place finish with a color guard team and a fifth place finish in the unarmed exhibition event.

“In three of the events our teams faced their toughest routines ever,” said retired Command Sgt. Maj. Jon Smith. “And in each one they delivered their best performances to date.”

The teams’ preparation is paying off, Cadet Audrey Dickerson, a junior, said.

“I was very confident in our teams for each of the events,” she said. “We have been practicing hard and have now competed several times this season.  We know the routines, and we know how to preform them well.”

The Giants Drill Team has continued to improve and progress over the past couple of years. In the first year of competition, MHS one only a single trophy. This year, the Giants have earned more trophies than in all previous years combined, with 17 and counting.

“It is always great to win in Indy,” said senior Joseph O’Donnell, who also placed ninth from among the 200 plus cadets in the individual knockout precision drill competition. “We know so many of the cadets from the other schools, since most of them are from Indiana and we see them at summer camp and other competitions.”
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News The Marion High School and McCulloch Junior High School choirs will present a band festival on Friday, March 9.

Now is your chance to enjoy music from our award-winning musicians! The show starts at 6 p.m. at the Walton Performing Arts Center at MHS, 750 W. 26th St. The event is free and open to the public.

We hope to see you there!

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