ROTC rifle team brings home big win through determination

By Bekah Landers and Paige Thompson

This past weekend the ROTC air rifle team took first place at the Indiana State Air Rifle Championship in Ft. Wayne. This was a milestone in the history of the team. 

“[I was] exceptionally proud of them. They’ve come a long way from three years ago.  It was a goal they set an they achieved it,” said Colonel Gipe.

Colonel Gipe is one of the two coaches for the air rife team. Floyd County police officer Jason Jones is the other coach for the award winning team. The team started in 2008 when Gipe returned from overseas. In that time the team has grown in quantity and have taken the top spot in the state. 

“They scored as a team and won with a score of 1937 the second highest team scored more than 60 points less,” said Gipe. “Junior Kayla Sumner scored third highest in the state with a score of 490/600 and senior Chynna Mitchell scored fourth with a score of 486/600.” 

“We all had first place in our minds to begin with. We kinda already knew we were taking in home. It’s really neat to actually hear about it and be known for it though,” said Sumner.

The team practiced four days a week after school from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. To be a member of the team the grades have to be good and must have an average of a ‘C’ or higher and a commitment to the team.

“We would accept any kid with an interest in shooting. They would have to come out for us and show us what they can do and if they’re good enough then we would probably accept them even if they weren’t in ROTC,” said Gipe. 

Gipe said that the members of the air rifle team need to have strong dedication to the program and the ability of commitment to the team and to practicing every day. 

The rifle team shoots with Air Arms T200 in the shooting competition. In the competition this past weekend, members had to score 20 good shots laying, standing, and kneeling.  Each member shoots from 33 feet away.

With all the dedication that it takes to become part of the rifle team, graduating members will miss the family that has grown through the team. 

“As a senior, I am going to miss my team. I think out of my four years in ROTC, our teams have come along way. Practice, commitment, and determination. That’s what our teams were made of,” said Mitchell.

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