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Legion Post 90’s Cape high school shooting teams shine

JROTC?Rifle Teams from Cape, Ida Baker, Island Coast, Mariner and Oasis compete

By Staff | Sep 23, 2021

American Legion Post 90 high school shooting teams from Cape Coral excel at district and state levels in 2021.

As students returned to school in person for the first time since 2020, one of the elective programs available is the Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps. It is a military regulated high school program whose purpose is to educate high school students in leadership roles and whose mission is to teach students citizenship, leadership, character and community service. These core values are at the heart of JROTC, whose creed emphasizes working to better the cadet’s family, school and country much like the mission of the American Legion. The program also includes an opportunity to be become a member of the shooting team which is sponsored by American Legion Post 90 in Cape Coral.

Dennis Stebbins, the American Legion Post 90 Marksmanship Chairman, stated “the shooting teams of the JROTC began practicing in September 2020. The first competition was among the five Cape Coral high schools and titled ‘The King of the Cape.'” JROTC Rifle Teams from Cape Coral High, Ida Baker High, Island Coast High, Mariner High and Oasis High competed. However, the past school year was a true test of their intestinal fortitude with the COVID-19 restrictions. There were no shoulder-to-shoulder competitions allowed so instead Zoom was used. The 1st place winner was Oasis, the 2nd place Mariner and 3rd was Ida Baker.

At the District competition, which includes all 15 high schools in Lee County with a JROTC program, Oasis won first place, Mariner won second and East Lee won third. The individual District Champion was Nathan Krockstrom, a freshman from Mariner High School.

At the State Marksmanship competition, which consists of all Florida High Schools with a JROTC program, and the largest program in the country, Oasis earned 8th place, Mariner 12th place and East Lee won 13th place.

Stebbins stated, “Given the level of competition at the District and State competitions the Cape Coral high schools did extraordinary well.”

Assistant Chairman Carl Saitta, stated “The Rifle Team, like the rest of the cadets in the JROTC program, truly excelled.”

JROTC programs are taught by retired service members, who Stebbins says, undergo extensive background checks and classroom management training.

And while JROTC instructors are full-time school employees, the military shares costs with the school to help pay the instructors to provide program leadership.

American Legion Post 90 is located at 1401 S.E. 47th St., Cape Coral. For additional information about the post and its activities, call 239-540-8128