February 13, 2019
Granbury Marine Corps JROTC rifle team members captured the Marine Corps Service Championship on February 7-9, 2019, in Phoenix.
The top team was composed of Granbury High School students Philip Becker, Allison Henry, Clarissa Layland, and Makenzie Sheffield, finishing with a 98-point lead over the second place team to advance to the all-service national competition. Each member of the squad made the finals featuring the total eight shooters, with Becker winning first individually followed by Sheffield in third, Henry in fourth, and Layland in sixth.
A second GHS team placed third overall and also is advancing. Members were Alexis De La Pena, M’Leah Lambdin, Elizabeth Plecity, and Jakob Rankin.
Granbury was also represented by Devan Dalby and Jayden Moorman.
“The Pirates came to play this past weekend missing a national record by one point. I am super proud of this team and their accomplishments, and our kids are the best team in the Marine Corps. That is an amazing achievement,” commented Lt. Col. Scott Casey, the Senior Marine Instructor and rifle team coach.
The event was a 3×20 air rifle event, meaning competitors fire 20 record shots from three positions: prone, standing, and kneeling over the two-day contest.
High school cadets from Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) meet on the firing line to complete a journey that has been months in the making. Over 9,000 junior shooters participated in the 2018 CMP Postal Competition in October with the highest-scoring shooters in each branch qualifying for the JROTC National Service Championships this month.
“I am very impressed with our freshman, Alexis De La Pena,” Casey stated. “She finished 30th, which is exceptional and is a true testament on how well she shot under the pressure at a national match.”
During the awards ceremony, Plecity received her Distinguished Marksmanship badges. The Junior Distinguished Badge is awarded to school-age junior three-position air rifle shooters who distinguish themselves by attaining a series of high rankings in designated major junior air rifle championships that include State Junior Olympic Qualifiers, CMP Cup Matches, the National Junior Olympic Championships, and other National Council Three-Position Air Rifle Championships. This is equivalent to the High School All-American for marksmanship.
The GHS team will next host the Air Rifle Junior Olympics on February 28-March 2.