Winning team members were Candice Sexton; who also won the top female shooter trophy; Tommy McKelvey, Mitchell Ward, and Dalton Knight. Also shooting were Jonathan Bailey, Cole Sigmon, Cathryn Young, and Harold Lee.
The Stingers started their competition year by winning the JROTC Fourth Brigade Precision Air Rifle Championship in a postal match in December. This win qualified the team to compete in the US Army JROTC National Match.
The same month, the Stingers were the top team from South Carolina in the US Army Junior Open Air Rifle postal match. Unfortunately, the team did not shoot well enough to advance to the national competition at Fort Benning, GA, in March.
The Stingers had no competition in the South Carolina Junior Olympic Championship at the Union County High School Rifle Range on December 4th, and this year no one shot well enough to receive an invitation to the annual try-out at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado.
In February, the team traveled to Anniston, AL, for the Army JROTC National Precision Rifle Championships. Team Captain Candice Sexton led the team with an 1142 out of 1200. Tommy McKelvey shot 1138. Tommy had the second highest standing score (381 of 400) in the championship. Mitchell Ward shot 1116 and Dalton Knight shot 1111. Freshman Jonathan Bailey fired an impressive 1123 from the alternate position. The team raised their Army JROTC national ranking from 13th in 2010 to ninth in 2011.
The Rifle Team hosted the National Rifle Association Junior Sectional at the UCHS rifle range on Saturday March 19th. The Stinger varsity shot 1127 out of 1200. The team was led by gold medalist Candice Sexton with a 382, followed by Tommy McKelvey with a 378 and freshman Jonathan Bailey with a 367. Freshman Cathryn Young had a breakthrough performance, firing 355 in the international match and 554 in the precision match. Other team members participating were Mitchell Ward, Dalton Knight, Cole Sigmon, Devin Ivey, and LJ Lee. The team score was a 28 point improvement over last year’s sectional performance, and will doubtless raise the Stinger’s fifth place military scholastic national ranking from 2010. NRA National rankings will not be available until May or June.
Seniors Candice Sexton and Dalton Knight graduate with a good chance of continuing their competitive careers in college. Returning team members Tommy McKelvey, Mitchell Ward, Jonathan Bailey, Cole Sigmon, Cathryn Young, Devin Ivey, and Harold Lee form the nucleus of what promises to be an even better program next year.