|Marksmanship teams win regional championship|
Franklin County High School’s Air Force JROTC sporter marksmanship teams are north region champions. Team members include (front row, from left) Tori Martin, Ireland Church, Brittany Carter, Mattie Green and Sydney Wood. In the middle row are Katrina Shaw, Chelsea Adams, Cecilia Perez and Zoe Townsend. The back row includes Dywayne Goad, Levi Sink, Brandon Perdue, Travis Knott and Lt. Col. (ret.) William Carter.
Monday, March 3, 2014
By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer
The results are in from the North Region Championship and Franklin County High School's Air Force JROTC marksmanship teams are at the top of the ranks again this year.
The precision team and all three sporter teams are JROTC north region champions after competing in the match in February at the Civilian Marksmanship Program's Olympic training range in Port Clinton, Ohio.
The results of the competition makes the precision team the U.S. Air Force national champions. This marks the first year that Franklin County has entered a precision team, and the team is already ranked second in the nation going into the All-Service competition on March 20.
The All Service Nationals will include teams from the Air Force, along with the Army, Navy and Marines.
Members of the precision team include Sierra Czap, who is ranked second in the nation, Carter Santrock ranks third, Cody Ashby ranks fourth and Johnathan Gove ranks eighth.
FCHS has three sporter teams, two of which are qualified to go to the All-Service National championship.
Sporter team member Tori Martin placed second overall in the region and is ranked seventh in the Air Force. Dwayne Goad is ranked 22nd, Sydney Wood is 26th, Brandon Perdue is 31st and Brittany Carter is ranked 32nd.
"This is our fifth national title and 10th national record in four years of competition," said marksmanship coach Lt. Col. (Ret.) Tracey Carter. "All 18 of our shooters are nationally ranked. We are really getting a lot of attention in the marksmanship world on every level."
Carter said that many of the other coaches told him he was crazy to coach both sporter and precision teams.
"They also said it would take about three to five years for us to become competitive," said Carter. "It took us less than six months. The recent snow hurt us a little and limited our practices, but we came back."
"It is unreal what these shooters have accomplished in such a short period of time," he added. "We have over 8,000 teams across the country shaking their heads and asking what we are doing. I am very proud of them."
Carter said he has a lot of new shooters who have never competed at this level before.
"The experience of going up there (Ohio) was invaluable," said Carter. "We have about 10 shooters who are new, so they'll do a lot better next time. We have a lot of work to do in the next week (to prepare for the All-Service competition)."
Carter said his teams have seen a lot of success in a short period of time.
"We've really made a splash in this sport," said Carter. "Other coaches are floored by the number of kids we bring to the competitions. We are making history here and putting Southwest Virginia and Franklin County on the map for this sport. We are very excited about that."
The National Rifle Association (NRA) recently provided the teams with a $10,500 grant for more precision equipment, Carter said.