After several years of being off the competitive circuit, members of the Raider Battalion in the Seneca Valley Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps placed second at a League Air Rifle Championship match.
The Shoulder-by-Shoulder event, held at Perry High School, included JROTC battalions from Beaver, Valley, Perry and Seneca Valley high schools.
In air rifle shooting, cadets use 4.5 mm (.177 cal.) air rifles designed for target shooting. Participants fire rifles in three different shooting positions at targets placed 10 meters away. Scores are determined according to how close to the center of the target a series of shots are placed.
Of the 95 students participating in Seneca Valley JROTC, the Raider Battalion Rifle Team had 18 cadet participants who initially were scored on their marksmanship in multiple postal matches. A postal match is a competition where each team fires at official match targets at their home range.
The targets are mailed out and scored. The top shooters from each team were then invited to compete in the Championship match on Nov. 20.
The cadets representing Seneca Valley were Roy Rowland, Joseph Racke, Justin Graham, Justin Ziegler and team captain Aaron Berard. Zeigler was the top shooter for the Raider Battalion team.
“The team did an outstanding job representing Seneca Valley through their skill and abilities as marksmen, as well as their professional conduct,” said Retired Army 1st Sgt. Angelo Lettier, army instructor with Seneca Valley’s JROTC. “It’s been a long time since Seneca Valley JROTC has participated in this event, but now we are looking into possibly competing in other postal competitions across the nation.”
Lettiere said as the Raider Battalion learns more about the different matches conducted, they hope to expand into those competitions in the upcoming years.
Rifle Team is open to all JROTC Cadets. Target shooting requires its athletes to develop fine motor control skills and mental discipline, and it demands strict adherence to safety rules.
Interested cadets interested must attend a week-long class to learn safety, rifle characteristics, rifle functions, shooting positions, competition rules and the history of marksmanship. At the end of the class, each cadet must score 100 percent on the marksmanship safety exam in order to be selected for the team.
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