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JROTC team places third in rifle competition

Kneeling+on+the+ground%2C+sophomore+Eduardo+Lastra+looks+at+his+hand+while+he+practices+properly+holding+the+rifle.+ROTC+practices+multiple+times+a+week+and+has+competitions+throughout+the+year.+%E2%80%9CIt+is+a+fun+hobby+and+sometimes+it%E2%80%99s+hard+and+stressful+whether+you+can+do+it+right+or+not.+It%E2%80%99s+a+lot+of+practice+but+I+like+it%2C%E2%80%9D+Lastra+said.
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JROTC team places third in rifle competition

Kneeling on the ground, sophomore Eduardo Lastra looks at his hand while he practices properly holding the rifle. ROTC practices multiple times a week and has competitions throughout the year. “It is a fun hobby and sometimes it’s hard and stressful whether you can do it right or not. It’s a lot of practice but I like it,” Lastra said.

Kneeling on the ground, sophomore Eduardo Lastra looks at his hand while he practices properly holding the rifle. ROTC practices multiple times a week and has competitions throughout the year. “It is a fun hobby and sometimes it’s hard and stressful whether you can do it right or not. It’s a lot of practice but I like it,” Lastra said.

Used with permission: Emily Hines

Kneeling on the ground, sophomore Eduardo Lastra looks at his hand while he practices properly holding the rifle. ROTC practices multiple times a week and has competitions throughout the year. “It is a fun hobby and sometimes it’s hard and stressful whether you can do it right or not. It’s a lot of practice but I like it,” Lastra said.

Used with permission: Emily Hines

Used with permission: Emily Hines

Kneeling on the ground, sophomore Eduardo Lastra looks at his hand while he practices properly holding the rifle. ROTC practices multiple times a week and has competitions throughout the year. “It is a fun hobby and sometimes it’s hard and stressful whether you can do it right or not. It’s a lot of practice but I like it,” Lastra said.

Addie Robey, Staff Writer

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Plant’s junior ROTC rookie team finished third in a tri-county rifle competition at Newsome High School Nov. 24.  

First there was a primary round, where 12 teams of four students shot three times to qualify for the next round. Participants shot ten shots at 10 targets, and there were three positions required to shoot from: prone, standing and kneeling.  

“We really try to emphasize accuracy when we’re training,” JROTC instructor Calvin Mason said. “In my experience that’s the most important factor when it comes to these competitions.” 

In the final round, the competition came down to six teams. The team’s first-year shooters placed third in the competition and continued to the rookie state championship Dec. 8 in Jacksonville, Florida, where five of their shooters competed for the championship.  

“This is a great accomplishment for these kids,” Mason said. “Being their coach is such a rewarding experience and especially since they are all first-year kids.” 

The JROTC rifle team has eight rookie members such as junior Keisha Howels.  

“On the team, Keisha is the person that I mostly have in charge,” Mason said. “I’m so proud of her. This is only her first year, and she is one of the leaders on the team.” 

The team will be competing against schools with programs that have earned national JROTC ranking.  

“It was a really great experience and I’m really proud of our team,” Howels said. “We’re moving on to the championship, so that’s a really big deal for us.” 

To prepare for competitions, the team practices after school in the cafeteria Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On weeks with an upcoming competition, the team also practices on Friday after school.  

Mason said the key with marksmanship is precision shooting, with the most important thing being repetition to develop technique. 

“I am so incredibly proud of these kids,” Mason said. “We’re going to give it our best at the championship, and I have high hopes for this group.”

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JROTC team places third in rifle competition