Franklin County High School shooters nail nationals
The high school students set a national record against other Air Force teams. They will go on to face shooters from Navy, Army and Marine programs.
Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 05:27PM
The colonel punctuated his two-sentence email with a total of seven exclamation points.
Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Tracey Carterís email communicated that the air-rifle marksmanship team from Franklin County High School had won a national championship ó an outcome he had predicted earlier this month.
Carter, 46, coaches the team and is a senior aerospace science instructor at the high school in Rocky Mount.
Specifically, the schoolís U.S. Air Force Junior Reserve Officersí Training Corps Marksmanship Team shot well enough during a competition in Alabama last weekend to score higher than 163 other Air Force JROTC teams in the nation.
And the team set an Air Force JROTC national record with a score backed by 69 bullís-eyes.
The teamís success became clearer Tuesday night after results were posted from similar regional competitions on the West Coast.
"This is huge!!!" trumpeted Carterís email.
He said 13 students traveled last week to Anniston, Ala., to shoot in a two-day regional tournament that began Feb. 15. The students used Crosman Sporter class air-rifles to shoot single pellets at targets at a distance of 10 meters. Shots are fired from three positions ó prone, kneeling and standing.
Carter said team member Brantley Santrock, 15, broke an AFJROTC record with a score boosted by 19 bullís-eyes.
Both Santrock and teammate Cody Ashby, 17, won a Junior Distinguished shooting award, which Carter said is a prestigious national medal.
Other Franklin County High School students who placed high in the competition were Jonathan Gove, 16, who placed second, and Mike Barton, 15, who placed fifth.
Carter attributed the teamís continued success to practice, discipline, avoiding sugary foods that yield jitters and jelling as a team.
"Thereís less ĎIí and more Ďwe,í" he said.
More competitions loom.
They include another event in Alabama. The March 21 tournament will pit the Franklin County team against Junior ROTC shooters from the Navy, Army and Marines.
"We will be ranked in the top five teams out of 2,800 going into the match," Carter said.
And Carter said there will be Civilian Marksmanship Program competitions in April and July.