NJROTC: Rifle team aims for nationals

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Tatum Lindquist, Staff Writer

This school year, NJROTC has become busier with the growth of teams, increased uniform inspections, and overall increased involvement in Liberty’s community. NJROTC students are demonstrating commitment to the time and energy demanded from this new atmosphere.
“We’ve changed from a more relaxed sense to more about the military and doing things the right way. It’s more about leadership. That’s the biggest change,” senior commanding officer Jenafer Johanson said.
Specifically, the NJROTC rifle team has improved in both the precision rifle team and sporter rifle team. With a personal best of 370 out of 400, team captain and senior Rita Melnikova is excited to have seen an increase in numbers compared to last year’s sole three shooters.
“This year, when I became the captain, it was very heart-warming to see the team has grown and the team has become very strong. I think that’s my favorite part, to see the team has developed and see there’s a future for it as well,” Melnikova said.
Currently 6-1, the rifle team competes with schools across the nation by scanning targets and uploading them to an online database, but if they finish within the top fifty percent of the upcoming Second Ave. championship, they will pack up and travel to the nationals in Alabama later in March.
The sporter rifle team is based on a beginner or intermediate skill-level and composed of solely freshmen and sophomores. Even though the team has yet to win a competition, they have improved greatly since last year.
“All the shooters have either doubled or tripled their scores. Everybody is getting better,” NJROTC Captain John Deehr said.