School News

News for Marion High School

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Marion High School JROTC earned top placements at two competitions in two states this weekend, one for the drill team and one for the rifle team.

Marion High School JROTC’s drill team poses for a photo with their trophies at the University of Kentucky on Feb. 24, including top finishes in the individual and duet exhibition events. 

The drill team traveled to the University of Kentucky, and the rifle team was in Fort Wayne for the Tri-County Championship.

Competing in the duet exhibition event in at University of Kentucky drill competition, cadets DJ Smith and Austen Robbins extended their number of first places finishes to four in the last five competitions. Joseph O’Donnell earned a first place finish in the individual exhibition event. Smith also earned a third-place finish in the individual exhibition event.

Marion High School JROTC cadets DJ Smith and Austen Robbins spin their rifles to a first-place finish at the University of Kentucky drill competition. The duo has earned four first-place finishes and a second place in the first five competitions this season.

Meanwhile, the rifle team soundly defeated the other five teams in the sporter class at the Tri-County Championship. Levi Hofmann and Taylor Sorah earned the match’s first and second placements overall. Josiah Hamilton earned the top finish in the kneeling event. And first-year shooter Evan Browder also shot his career best at the match.

“We faced the toughest teams yet this year at the Kentucky competition,” said retired Command Sgt. Maj. Jon Smith, the Giant’s drill team coach. “Two of the teams there are top contenders at the national championship every year. So to have our exhibition teams place so well is amazing. These guys are really good.”

Marion High School JROTC rifle team poses for a photo after another victory at the Tri-County Championship on Feb. 24 in Fort Wayne. 

O’Donnell wasn’t expecting his first ever top finish.

“It was so surprising!” he said. “I was honestly hoping I could place as high as third. I felt like all my hard work was finally paying off.”

Sgt. Maj. Smith said he sees bigger successes in the future.

“I think DJ Smith and Robbins could be national-level contenders, based upon how well they have consistently placed in the very top during the past five competitions,” he said. “They are really fun to watch as they march about spinning and throwing those drill rifles about.”

The rifle team continued their successful season.

“I don’t want to sound cocky, but I was very confident our team would do well at the Tri-County meet,” said retired Lt. Col. David Farlow, the rifle team coach. “We had shot against all of these teams throughout the season. I knew if we shot our averages we should easily win. It helped that Hofmann had a career high-score to push us easily over the top.”

Hofmann expressed similar confidence after competing.

“I really felt good while shooting in the first position,” he said.  “Things were going great throughout the match. I knew my score was going to be good.”

Earlier this year the Giant’s rifle team competed in two national-level competitions and placed 13th and 38th in the nation. They were also this year’s Indiana JROTC State Runner-Up Champions.

Both teams will be at it again this weekend as the rifle team competes in the Civilian Rifle Program’s Indiana State Championship. The drill team will travel to Indianapolis for their sixth competition of the season.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Air rifle marksmen from Marion High School competed in the U.S. Army JROTC Rifle Marksmanship National Championship this past weekend, the second national-level championship the Giants have competed in this year, and the second year for this particular competition. The cadets improved their standing over last year by moving up 11 places higher in the final placements.

The five-member rifle team competed against 61 other Army JROTC teams from across the country and around the world, with teams coming from as far away as Germany, Korea and Japan. In their second year to qualify for the championship in as many years, the Giants placed 38th.

Marion High School JROTC cadets pause for a photo during a practice session at the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s range at Camp Perry, Ohio. Cadets Jade’Lynn Kendall, Hailey Teeguarden, Taylor Sorah, Josiah Hamilton, and Levi Hofmann competed in the Army JROTC Marksmanship National Championship.

“This was a tremendous finish for our team,” said retired Lt. Col. David Farlow, the senior Army instructor and coach for the Marion cadets. “We literally shot against the very best teams from the nearly 2,000 Army JROTC programs. To first of all qualify to attend, and then to improve our standings by 11 positions over last year, really speaks well of our marksmen.”

Shooting at the state-of-the-art Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) range at Camp Perry, Ohio, the Giants competed against dozens of team there, in addition to Army teams competing simultaneously at Anniston, Ala., and Phoenix. The 61 teams in the championship all had to defeat hundreds of other teams to earn the opportunity to compete at this level.

Marion High School JROTC Cadet Taylor Sorah takes aim during the Army JROTC Marksmanship National Championship. 

“I was so nervous,” said Jade’Lynn Kendall, who shot for the first time in the JROTC championship. “There we cadets from everywhere at our match. I even met kids from Alaska.”

During each day of the two-day competition, the cadets fired a series of 20 qualification shots in each of the three firing positions: prone, standing and kneeling. Their scores from each day were totaled and compared against every other shooter and team.

In their second appearance at the JROTC National Championship, Cadets Taylor Sorah, Levi Hofmann, and Hailey Teeguarden also improved their individual placements over last year by finishing 104th, 107th and 134th from among the 258 competitors.

Marion High School JROTC Cadet Hailey Teeguarden pauses to concentrate on her next shot during the Army JROTC Marksmanship National Championship. 

“I really like competing at the CMP range,” Teeguarden said. “Even though national competitions are very stressful, and it is knit-picky to follow all the shooting rules. But it is really fun and I like going.”

Cadet Josiah Hamilton also competed at the JROTC championship for the first time. Speaking of the experience Hamilton said: “It was a blast! I had so much fun with my team and during the competition. I hope we qualify to come back next year. “

The Giants still have several major competitions left in the competitive season. Next up, the Giants face nine other teams from the Fort Wayne area during the Tri-County league championship.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News It’s the end of an era for Marion Giants cross country, as longtime coach Terry Lakes is stepping aside to hand the over the reins to someone new.

Several current and former cross country team members attended the Marion School Board meeting on Feb. 13, when Coach Terry Lakes announced his retirement from coaching. Seen here are Lakes and his wife, Vicky, members of the school board, and cross country team members past and present.

Lakes will retain his teaching position and will continue as the department chair for the English department at Marion High School.

“Teaching has always been the most important thing,” Lakes said. “I always knew there would come a time when I would focus for a few years just on the teaching. It’s time for someone else to take charge and bring a new energy to the cross country program.”

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News The Marion High School JROTC Drill Team has continued to improve this year with each successive competition. Earlier this month, they faced the stiffest competition thus far at Purdue University. Not only did the cadets turn in their best performance of the season, they performed the best they ever have.

The Marion High School JROTC Drill Team earned four top place finishes at Purdue University on Feb. 10, 2018. This was the best performance the team has achieved in six years. 

“The drill and color guard team pulled out our best performances of the season and of the past six years,” said retired Command Sgt. Maj. Jon Smith, who has coached the team for six years. “Purdue is arguably our toughest meet each year. We made great strides at this competition.”

The Giants entered teams in six of the competitive categories and ended up taking first place in four of those events, along with two third place finishes. The Giants placed first in color guard, armed squad exhibition, individual exhibition and duet exhibition. The Giants also earned a third place finish with a second color guard team and earned a third place finish overall in the competition.

Commanding the all-female color guard, which garnered first place, Cadet Joanna Hildago described her team’s win: “Awesome! I was so nervous during the event but my team was doing really well. It was our best routine ever!”

Marion High School JROTC’s all-female color guard team takes first place at the Purdue University Drill Competition on Feb. 10. Cadets Joanna Hildago, Audrey Dickerson, I’Yeal Hornaday, and Lunden Colley were one of the four teams from Marion to take first place honors at the competition.

Cadet DJ Smith continued to dominate other competitors, winning in the individual exhibition event in the fourth competition of the season. Smith also teamed with Austen Robbins to take first place in the duet exhibition event.

Marion High School JROTC cadet DJ Smith reports in to a drill sergeant at the beginning of his exhibition routine during the drill competition hosted by Purdue University on Feb. 10.  Smith’s routine, along with three other Marion teams, earned first place finishes. 

Cadets DJ Smith and Austen Robbins earn a first place finish in the duet exhibition event for Marion High School at the drill competition hosted by Purdue University on Feb. 10, 2018. This was the third time the duo has earned a top finish this season.

The victories continued throughout the day as armed squad exhibition team lead by Joseph O’Donnell took the floor.

“I felt very confident in my team going into the event,” O’Donnell said. “We turned in a clean routine with few, if any, mistakes in spite of us all being nervous. It was the best feeling to hear our team announced and knowing we won at Purdue!”

During drill competitions, U.S. Army Drill Sergeants serve as the graders. They watch to ensure the cadets perform the specified movements properly, but also scrutinize each movement looking for the slightest infraction. One minor mistake can mean the difference between winning and losing.

“I am so proud of what we have accomplished so far this season,” Command Sgt. Maj. Smith said. “We are really seeing the benefit of all the hard work and dedication. I had several coaches for other teams come up and congratulate us on how well our cadets performed.”

Next up for the Giants is the competition hosted by the University of Kentucky ROTC program on Feb. 24.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News WHAT: “And in This Corner: Cassius Clay”, this year’s MHS Black History Club play

WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018

WHERE: Walton Performing Arts Center, Marion High School, 750 W. 26th St.

COST: $7

MARION — You know the story of Muhammad Ali, but do you know the story that came before? Later this month, you’ll have the chance to explore the famous icon’s early years, in the Marion High School Black History Club’s presentation of “And in This Corner: Cassius Clay”.

The play is set for 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Walton Center at Marion High School.

“And in This Corner” was written by Idris Goodwin, a contemporary playwright who has won many awards and accolades for his work. This vibrant historical drama focuses on the iconic boxer’s early life in Jim Crow-era Louisville, Ky. In it, Cassius Clay Jr. takes his first step into the ring and starts becoming the man would know as Muhammad Ali. It’s a classic story of an unlikely hero, but it also explores how remarkable communities help to create heroes.

The main actors in the play include brothers Jalen and Jordan Hill, a freshman and a senior, respectively, who play Cassius Clay in different stages of his life. Other cast members include Taliea Wells, senior, who is playing Clay’s mother, Odessa; Brett Cope, senior, playing Joe Martin, Clay’s trainer; James Bell, a junior, playing Eddie Green, Cassius’ best friend; Manual Davis, senior, playing Corky Baker, a neighborhood bully; along with seniors Kaleb Evans, Jacob Speikes, Jalon Spurgon, Joseph O’Donnell, Maria Porter, and Toosie Jackson, along with sophomore Darzuan Weaver.

In addition, several members of the Marching Giants will be performing in a parade for the play.

The cast also includes a wide range of ages, from a second-grader to adults in the community, among 25 extras adding life to the play.

The MHS Black History Club has put on a play every year since 1980. The play is the largest fundraiser of the year for the club, and proceeds help fund their annual spring college tour to historically black colleges and universities. This year’s trip is to the Atlanta area.

Tickets can be purchased from any Black History Club member or from Bobbie Owensby, MHS teacher and sponsor of the club, as well as director of the play. They will also be available at the door the night of the play.

Anyone who wants to donate to the spring college trip or help in any other way can contact Mrs. Owensby as well, by calling her at the high school, 664-9051, ext. 3234.

>> Click here to RSVP on our Facebook event page and get reminders about the play