Southern Lee hits its marks

Mar. 21, 2013 @ 05:02 AM

Southern Lee’s JROTC Rifle Team proved itself to be one of the best teams in the region and the nation at last month’s American Legion 3-Position Air Rifle Region 4 Championship.

The Cavaliers finished fifth in the region, made up of the Carolinas, Virginia and Tennessee, out of 44 teams in the event made up of prone, standing and kneeling marksmanship categories. The Cavaliers placed No. 38 out of 299 JROTC teams nationally.

Sophomore Gabby Williams was the leading Cavalier, finishing seventh individually out of 131 competitors and 40th out of 1,009 nationally. In the standing event, Williams was eighth in the region and No. 17 in the nation.

Cassidy Hickman, Dylan Light, Leo Espinosa, Justin Hostetler and Jasmin Cooner also competed for Southern Lee. Hickman finished No. 21 in the region and Light was No. 35.

In November, Southern Lee finished second in the Southeast Regional Rifle Match, an event bringing 25 teams from around southeast North Carolina together. Williams earned one of five spots on the All-Conference Team.

Outstanding results by the rifle team have made the year special along with the retirement of First Sergeant David Jenkins from teaching the JROTC “Cavalier” Battalion.

Jenkins has taught for 21 years at four schools. He will retire on April 1. Southern Lee hosted a retirement ceremony for Jenkins on Monday.

“I have been privileged to have had in my classroom many, many fine young people,” Jenkins said during the ceremony. “Twenty-one years ago some of them began to teach me how to teach.”

Jenkins taught at Orange County and Oak Ridge Military Academy in Virginia. He came to Lee County High School in 1997, then to Southern Lee in 2005.

“It was with gratitude that I look back,” he said. “I entered a profession dedicated to assisting young people achieve their potential, to revealing or finding their best selves. As I leave it, I am taking many of you with me. You will live on in my memories. I’ll always remember the things we achieved together.”