Rifle team members of the Granbury Marine Corps JROTC took top honors as the National Champions at the JROTC Air Rifle Championships held at the Civilian Marksmanship Program Competition Center-South in Anniston, Alabama on March 21-23, 2019.
Philip Becker, Allison Henry, M’Leah Lambdin, Clarissa Layland, Jakob Rankin, Elizabeth Plecity, Alexis DeLaPena and Makenize Sheffield represented Granbury High School in the 3×20 air rifle event, featuring competitors firing twenty record shots from three positions (prone, standing, and kneeling) over the two-day contest.
The GHS top squad of Becker, Layland, Plecity, and Sheffield shot a 4704 out of a possible 4800 points to claim the national title – 32 points ahead of Joshua High School’s Navy JROTC. Additionally, Sheffield led the team and shot a personal best of 1184 out of a possible 1200 points making finals on day one and two topping all final scores placing her first and winning the gold medal as an individual. In addition, Becker made a run at the podium shooting a total of 1185 and participated in finals on both days that propelled him to a second place finish overall, just behind Sheffield by .8 of a point after a very exciting finals match.
Granbury’s second team of DeLaPena Henry, Lambdin, Henry, Rankin and placed third overall. Lambdin, who shot a personal best over the two-day match, narrowly missed the top ten by one point and ranked eleventh overall.
"I liked the way everyone fought through the match for every point to claim the championship,” commented Lt. Col. Scott Casey, the Senior Marine Instructor and rifle team head coach. “What is just as impressive is our second team placing third overall and the scores shot by the two youngest shooters, De La Pena and Lambdin. They are the future of the team, and I cannot wait to see what they will do next year.”
High school cadets from Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) met on the firing line to complete a journey that has been months in the making. Over 7,400 junior shooters participated in the 2018 Civilian Marksmanship Program Postal Competition in October with the highest-scoring shooters in each branch qualifying for the JROTC National Service Championships last month. The top teams from each service then converged on Anniston to see who would claim the national title.
“This is easily the most talented squad in the history of the program,” commented Lt. Col. Casey. “I knew we had a special group from top to bottom at the beginning of the season, and they proved that this weekend.”
Pictured are (left to right) First Sergeant Johnny Rositas, M’Leah Lambdin, Makenize Sheffield, Elizabeth Plecity, Alexis De La Pena, Philip Becker, Clarissa Layland, Jakob Rankin, and Allison Henry.