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Oregon City High shooting team bonds during trip to nationals


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - OCHS JROTC team members visit the Golden Spike as part of their trip to nationals. From left, Robert James, coach Phil Boss, Britt Bangle, Ben Jennings, Nicole Moorman, Taylor Peitrok and 1st Sgt. Darren Larson, U.S. Army instructor.Five members of the Oregon City High School Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps shooting team traveled to the national competition, held in Salt Lake City on Feb 16 through 20.

The team placed seventh out of 148 teams, and one member, Robert James, a junior, placed 21st out of more than 3,000 cadets entered in the individual competition, said team member Nicole Moorman, a senior.

“We were the only Oregon team representing the U.S. Army at nationals,” she said, noting that the five cadets competed as a team and as individuals in the two-day shooting competition.

The other OCHS cadets were Britt Bangle and Ben Jennings, both juniors, and senior Taylor Peitrok.

Team members had to shoot at targets in three divisions, standing, prone and kneeling, Moorman said, adding that judges then looked at all the targets to determine the standings.

She described the experience as exciting and said it was five days of team bonding and meeting other cadets from other JROTC teams.

Moorman has been in the JROTC program for three years, and this was her first trip to the nationals. JROTC is a regularly scheduled class at OCHS, and there are more than 100 students in the program.

“We have a shooting team, a color guard, a drill team, an academic team and a strength team. Kids can join any team,” she said.

Moorman emphasized the fact that the cadets are dedicated to working on community service projects in Oregon City, including an annual cleanup at Mountain View Cemetery and the upcoming Teddy Bear Parade.

“The whole battalion marches in the parade. We spend all year practicing marching,” Moorman said.

She also noted that safety comes first on the shooting team, and cadets must take a monthlong safety class before they can even touch a rifle.

Students interested in joining JROTC should be aware that they are going to become part of a family, Moorman said, adding, “We are so involved — it’s like a bond.”

There are a lot of reasons to join, she noted, including attending the Cadet Leadership Challenge, held at a military base. When Moorman attended, she was taken on a helicopter ride and learned to rappel.

Moorman added that the leadership camp encourages cadets “to keep our grades up, and it really promotes being a good citizen and a good cadet.”

For more information about Oregon City High School’s JROTC program, visit the Facebook account at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or look for the site on the OCHS website at ochs.orecity.k12.or.us and click on the Academics tab.