MMA Rifle Team Takes 4th in 2020 JROTC Service Championship

With first place finish, Cadet William Baker qualifies for nationals.

The Missouri Military Academy rifle team took fourth-place team honors at the JROTC Service Championship in Camp Perry, Ohio. The Colonels competed Feb. 14–16 in the sporter class, finishing ahead of 12 Army teams and all 10 of the Air Force teams. Team members William Baker, Rene Garcia, Landy Nguyen and Lance Newland earned an aggregate score of 4,166 out of 4,800 possible in the competition.

“We just missed earning the third-place trophy by 25 points,” says Capt. Joe Balvanz, MMA Colonels rifle coach. “We are left hungrier than ever. Although fourth is not where we want to be, it is the highest team honors achieved by MMA at the Service Championship in the air rifle era.”

Cadet Baker, a senior from Flower Mound, Texas, took first place among all 123 sporter competitors, earning an invitation to the 2020 National JROTC Championship March 19–21 at Camp Perry. “In fact,” Balvanz says, “he handily won by eight points going into the finals round, a lead unrivaled by the Air Force sporter class or the Army or Air Force precision classes!” 

Baker, who scored 1,089 points out of 1,200, will enter the national competition as the fifth-ranked Army shooter in the country. 

“We are extremely proud of him,” Balvanz adds. “This is the only time known that we have had one of our cadets earn a national ticket in the air rifle era at MMA!”

Other individual results:

  • Sophomore Rene Garcia of Cadereyta Jimenez, Mexico, placed 8th among Army JROTC and 23rd overall.
  • Junior Landy Nguyen of Ardmore, Oklahoma, placed 9th among Army JROTC and 38th overall.
  • Sophomore Lance Newland of Folsom, California, placed 17th among Army JROTC and 62nd overall.
  • Junior Jared Douthit of Broomfield, Colorado, placed 62nd among Army JROTC and 95th overall.

The MMA cheering section at Camp Perry included a special guest: Erica Newland, who joined her son, Lance, and the rest of the rifle team for dinner Friday night and watched the competition on Saturday. The team thanks her for her support!

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Missouri Military Academy Rifle Team Member
Missouri Military Academy Rifle Team Member

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