Following the 2022 JROTC National Championship competition, the MMA Colonels Rifle team ranks seventh nationally in the Army JROTC program. A total of 2,178 JROTC cadets from across the United States, Europe, and the Pacific competed for the national title in Camp Perry, Ohio, March 17-19.
Cadets gain discipline and control through target shooting. Our rifle marksmanship team has a long history of success, with cadets making it to the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Sectional Qualifier. For the second year in a row, Missouri Military Academy has qualified for the JROTC Service Championships in 2020. The MMA rifle team has grown it its success this year and several opportunities await our cadets (more info).
MMA is the host site for the 2020 Missouri State Rifle Championships.
Captain Balvanz, Rifle Coach
Captain Balvanz, a former U.S. Army combat engineer who served as a technical rescue team leader in response to the terror attack at the Pentagon in 2001, brings over 21 years of tactical rifle firing, rifle hunting, coaching and mentoring to the team.
Under his leadership, the MMA rifle team has seen strides in success, earning many significant accolades, including numerous first place team and individual wins at state postal matches.
“One of the greatest conduits of change I can imbue to an individual cadet is to ask 'why me' and 'why now',” he says about his two years of coaching the MMA rifle team. “How is what I’m doing important, and how can I discover and reach my full potential?”
According to Captain Balvanz, the skills refined by the rifle team also contribute to benefits inside the classroom. Rifle training hones skills that contribute significantly to increases in courage, confidence, stamina, physical balance, and perhaps most importantly, personal responsibility. Although this is a team sport in one sense, individuals are absolutely accountable to themselves and their teammates, for every shot in practice and during a competition. A firer with a bad day can’t be covered down on by a firer with a great day, as with most all other team sports.
“Concentration and focus are required at the same time that outside influences – both on and off the range – are trying to drive your heart through your chest and through your finger,” says Balvanz. “Cadets train to sharpen their mental toughness by focusing all energy and maintaining that discipline.”
MMA Rifle Team News
Against 75 Army JROTC teams to qualify for the event, the MMA team placed 5th overall in the JROTC rifle sectionals and has qualified to compete at nationals in March. Cadet Lance Newland currently ranks in top 10 among all firers in the U.S. Army JROTC.
At Missouri Military Academy, cadets gain discipline and control through target shooting, and the MMA rifle marksmanship team has a long history of success. Led by coach Mike Shoemaker, the rifle team competes in high-caliber divisions, including the Junior Rifle Club Precision Distinguished Division of the Orion National Air Rifle League, a national team league for high school teams and junior rifle clubs.
Shooting their highest score of the season Missouri Military Academy defeated Fort Payne AJROTC 1056.1 to 991.8 last week in the National Air Rifle League. With the win, Missouri Military Academy is in fourteenth place overall and fourth place within their Army JROTC conference.
MMA's rifle team scored top marks at the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) 3PAR Championships. MMA’s rookie team earned 1st place against 8 other rookie teams, and MMA’s veteran team earned 4th place out of 13 seasoned teams.
MMA’s rifle team has scored in the top five in nearly all of their recent competitions, and in many instances, team members scored in the top 20 of all individual firers at these competitions. Furthermore, Cadets Lance Newland and Nathan Balvanz have broken MMA records, earning them a place among MMA’s most elite riflemen of all time.
Visit the Missouri State High School Activities Association web site to view a calendar with MMA athletic events. For any past events, click on the date to view results in the sidebar.