Rifle team completes season

Apr. 07, 2013 @ 06:11 AM

The R-S Central High School MCJROTC Rifle Team completed another successful season with an appearance at the Interservice JROTC National Air Rifle Championships.

More than 1600 teams and 7200 competitors began this competition last fall. Only the best 28 JROTC teams and top 130 shooters from throughout the U.S. were invited to compete in the match in Anniston, Alabama. The team finished in 16th place, putting it in the top one percent of teams nationwide.

Cadet Sergeant Michael Murphy was the team’s top finisher. Cadets Staff Sergeant Daniel Pruett and Donnivan Weeks; and Cadet Corporal Alex Shepherd represented R-S Central at the match.

“The level of competition at this year’s match was unbelievable,” said Murphy.

The team had its best performances of the year at the match.

“This was the first time I ever broke 530 and I did it both days," Shepherd said.

A month ago, the team finished fourth in the Marine Corps JROTC national

championships, also in Anniston. Approximately 400 teams competed to get to this level. R-S Central was one of only two schools to earn two team slots at the championships.

In individual competition, Murphy finished in second place and Pruett took twelfth. The team’s finish qualified them for the Interservice match.

Other highlights from throughout the season include wins at the Carolinas Rifle Match in Asheville and the Appalachian Rifle Match in Jonesborough, TN.

The team placed at numerous other competitions including the Trailblazer Match in Gray, TN; the Razorback Match in Walhalla, SC; the Buccaneer Match in Acworth, GA and sixth place in the Gary Anderson Invitational in Anniston, one of the largest air rifle matches in the U.S.

The team finished second in the North Carolina Junior Olympics.

“I am extremely proud of the team’s performance this season. We have only two seniors with ten shooters returning next season," said Major Russ Armentrout, coach of the team. "We will certainly miss Pruett. He has been a leading competitor and a national record holder himself. Cadet First Lieutenant Adam Van Wormer, our team captain and other senior, showed great leadership throughout the season and was a shooter we could count on. Our ‘B’ Team at the Marine Corps nationals was composed primarily of first-year shooters and finished 15th in the nation for Marine Corps teams."

Other individual highlights this year were two MCJROTC individual national

records for Murphy as well as earning Junior Distinguished Badge #532. Murphy becomes the tenth R-S Central shooter to earn Junior Distinguished status. Shepherd is the likely next distinguished shooter for R-S Central. Only about one of every three hundred competitive shooters earns this status. R-S Central shooters account for nearly two percent of all distinguished badges earned in the U.S.