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Kofa MCJROTC qualifies for Service Championships

The Kofa High School Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) Rifle team took ninth place out of 294 teams and Cadet Corina Castillo finished seventh out of 1,397 shooters during the Marine Corps Postal competition, which was conducted in late November 2021.

The Kofa team comprised of Castillo, Vicente Kraft, Hannah Daniels, and Cecilia Cortez will be traveling to Chandler, Arizona in February to compete over two days in the JROTC Service Championships, with the opportunity to advance to the National Championships in Ohio in March. This was the first time the program has had an individual shooter and team both break into the top 10 for this competition. 

“We have a strong team that learned a lot from last year and the wins they have accumulated from Cesar Chavez, Rio Rico, and the NRA competition this year,” said KHS MCJROTC Instructor Maj Todd Birney. “We are excited going into the competition and looking forward to making it to Nationals.”

The team will spend four days in Chandler, in which they are given a day of practice on the electronic systems before shooting for score over the last two days. Only 25 MCJROTC teams and 20 MCJROTC individuals from around the world are invited to the Service Championships.

In addition to their success in the Postal competition, Kofa’s rifle team closed out 2021 with a first-place finish at their event at Rio Rico High School and a second-place finish at the National Rifle Association (NRA) competition. 

Birney along with Sgt Maj Colen Laarman has helped lead the Kofa program to national prominence over the past five years. The program has twice been named a prestigious Naval Honors school and ranked in the top 25 in the nation following the 2020-21 school year. They serve more than 130 cadets at Kofa as part of Yuma Union High School District’s Career & Technical Education (CTE) program. 

Eric Patten