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Monday, August 29, 2016

ATHLETICS: Newest Blazer Rangers Rifle Team Members

Matthew Bullard & Kortaize Gilyard
Three days after school was back in session, on a Saturday when most were catching those extra hours of sleep after an exciting first week of school, Matthew Bullard and Kortaize Gilyard were already sitting in another classroom at 7 AM. While the school was quiet everywhere else, the JROTC wing resonated with rifle safety terms and rules, team procedures and the infamous safety exam. Before a cadet can even touch a rifle they must undertake and pass the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s extremely rigorous safety exam with nothing less than a score of 100%. Cadets only get two attempts to pass the exam with a perfect score. Anything less and they are sent home. The stress is palpable when the examinees are told “Begin!” Once the exam is complete, the stress however does not end as the “wanna-be’s” must then negotiate 10 hours of hands-on training and a series of shooting tests, ultimately concluding with a 1 hour and 15 minute scored competition during which only the top competitors “survive the cut” to be members of the Blazer Rangers Rifle Team. At the end of an extremely long day when the door to the rifle range opened and the day nearly gone, two cadets emerged victorious in their quest to become the two newest members of the Blazer Rangers. Please congratulate cadets Matthew Bullard and Kortaize Gilyard.