By Commander Denny Shelton, USN (Ret)
It’s not just Clemson going forward on the national stage, four members from Mauldin High’s Navy JROTC unit are also on their way to a national competition. The “Maverick Navy’s” varsity, three position, air rifle team will compete in the Navy’s national match in Anniston, Alabama next week.
The four varsity members of the team are senior Alex Imm, juniors Charlotte Welsh and Gabe Wentworth with sophomore Trinaty Noble rounding out the group. These four young NJROTC cadets have worked tirelessly, sometimes waking before 6am for practice and staying until 6pm to practice after school. “When I signed up for the team I couldn’t fathom that we’d be going this far.” said Wentworth who joined the team just this year. Captain Alex Imm also chimed in “I feel that as a team we earned going to nationals through hard work. We put so much time in to get here…”
What makes the victories even more special is this is the first regional and area (think state, Navy division) championship for the NJROTC unit. The Navy has JROTC units in high schools across the county and scattered around the world. For administrative purposes the county is broken down into what are called “Areas”. Mauldin falls under the purview of Area 6 which includes the 64 units in all of North and South Carolina. The Area is further broken down into a number of regions for the purposes of sending the best teams forward for the overall area championship. This year the team scored two firsts, a regional and an area championship. Trinaty Noble who led the team at regionals says that she “Feels happy that she had an awesome part to play…” in helping the team succeed.
When the scores were finally computed for the area not only had Mauldin placed first overall as a team but out of 100 marksman the team had two place in the top ten. Ms. Welsh was ranked number one overall and Ms. Noble placed eighth while every person on the team finished in the top 30.
The future is bright for the Maverick Navy three position team as they will have three returning varsity members next year and a host of promising talent behind them. No matter what happens at the match in Anniston these four will forever be known as the first champions of the program.♦