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Franklin County High’s marksmanship team won the regional meet in Ohio last weekend.
Monday, April 8, 2013
A few months back, the colonel started calling the group of students he coaches the “eagle eye” marksmanship team, both because of their talent in nailing bull’s-eyes and because they hail from Franklin County High School, home of the Eagles.
The students’ performance in an air-rifle shooting competition Friday and Saturday continued lending credibility to the nickname, said retired Air Force Lt. Col. Tracey Carter.
Ten members of the high school’s U.S. Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps marksmanship team traveled Wednesday to Ohio to compete in the Civilian Marksmanship Program North Region Championship.
Team One from Franklin County took first place. Team Two took fifth place. They competed against 19 teams of other young shooters from JROTC programs, the Boy Scouts of America Venturing Program, the American Legion, 4-H clubs and other teams.
The event involves shooting air-rifle pellets at targets from three positions — prone, kneeling and standing.
Carter said the students’ victory over the weekend at Camp Perry, near Port Clinton, Ohio, qualifies shooters from the team to compete in the CMP National Championship in July in Anniston, Ala.
“We have an awesome chance of winning the whole thing,” he said.
The team’s performance also earned it access to $8,000 in endowment grants to help fund team activities, $1,500 for equipment and a substantial trophy, Carter said.
“This is an expensive sport,” he said.
Team One included Brantley Santrock, Jonathan Gove, Michael Barton and Cody Ashby. Team Two included Christopher Goad, Sydney Wood, Brandon Perdue and Sierra Czap. Brittany Carter and Chris Cesternino participated in the competition as individuals.
Gove won a silver medal for placing second in the competition overall. Barton placed fourth.
In February, the FCHS marksmanship team won a national title when competing in Alabama against other Air Force JROTC programs. In March, the team placed fourth when competing against JROTC teams from the Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy.
Carter coaches the team and is a senior aerospace science instructor at the high school in Rocky Mount.
According to its website, the Civilian Marksmanship Program is a national, nonprofit organization “dedicated to training and educating U.S. citizens in responsible uses of firearms and airguns through gun safety training, marksmanship training and competitions.”
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