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JROTC Rifle Team 13th among nation’s best

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News The Marion High School JROTC Rifle Marksmanship Team placed 13th during their second-ever trip to a national-level competition.

The Marion High School JROTC Rifle Marksmanship Team finished 13th at a national championship hosted by the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, Ga. Picture from left are team members Jade’Lynn Kendall, Hailey Teeguarden, Coach David Farlow, Taylor Sorah, and Levi Hofmann. 

The team of four Marion cadets was among only 30 teams from across the county to qualify for the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit’s Junior Rifle National Championship. The AMU championship was open to any youth shooters, not just JROTC cadets.

“It was a great honor and speaks well of our team to have qualified for attendance at the AMU championship,” said retired Lt. Col. David Farlow, the JROTC senior Army instructor and Rifle Team coach. “Our team has shot well all year so it was exciting to break into the ‘big league’ to shoot against the best from across the country. I am so proud of them.”

The Marion tem was comprised of cadets Taylor Sorah, senior; Hailey Teeguarden, junior; and Levi Hofmann and Jade’Lynn Kendall, both sophomores.

“It was a good change of pace to go and shoot in Georgia on a military base,” said Sorah, the Giant’s Rifle Team captain. “We learned so much from the more experienced shooters there.”

And an experience it was. The Giants had to shoot in two different relays in as many days. During each of the relays, the marksmen shot in the three standard positions of standing, kneeling, and prone. However, the number of qualifying shots for each position was twice what the Giants were used to shooting in competitions.

“During these longer matches, physical and mental fatigue can affect the shooter,” Farlow said. “Also, the cadets had to learn to deal with the pressure of shooting in such a high-level competition. It can be nerve-wracking.”

Teeguarden said participating in the championship was another opportunity for growth for the team.

”It was really neat to see so many other teams there who were clearly much better than us,” she said.  “I learned so much by just watching the better marksmen; learning what they do and how they prepare for the match was a great benefit.”

Marion High School JROTC Cadets Jade’Lynn Kendall, Hailey Teeguarden, Taylor Sorah, and Levi Hofmann take aim during the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit’s Junior Rifle National Championship at Fort Benning, Ga. 

This was the Giants’ first visit to the AMU Championship. However, they competed last year at the Army JROTC National Championship held at Camp Perry, Ohio. The cadets will return again to shoot in the JROTC National Championship competition next week.

The Marion Rotary, Marion High School Alumni Association, and other individuals provided generous donations to help cover some of the costs for attendance to the AMU match.

“We simply could not have been able to make this trip without the generous donations,” Farlow said. “I know our team is truly grateful for the support from the community.”

In addition to the Army JROTC National Championship match, the Giants have several other upcoming competitions, including the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s Indiana State Championship and the American Legion’s Indiana Youth Shooting Championship.