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Teen takes aim at rifle competition
North Forsyth High School student and Marine Corps JROTC member Rebecca Godwin will compete next month at a national shooting competition in New Mexico. - photo by Jim Dean


Rebecca Godwin has never flown on an airplane.

But she'll get her chance Feb. 17 when she travels to Albuquerque, N.M., to compete in the Marine Corps JROTC Service Championship.

The sophomore was the lone member of the North Forsyth High rifle team to qualify for the national competition.

Gunnery Sgt. Jack "Gunny" Snook leads the team, which is part of the county's only JROTC program. He said based on qualifying scores, Godwin is ranked third in the nation.

Snook said she's reached scores as high as 292 during practice sessions. A perfect score is 300.

She's also one of just two girls on the shooting team, which this year is made up largely of freshmen and sophomores after the departure of five seniors from 2010.

"The team is young this year," Snook said.

While there may not be many of them, he said the female students are tops on the team.

"My No. 1 and No. 2 shooters are girls," he said, adding that in general "girls are better shooters."

"They're more patient. If they screw up, they just say 'oh well' and move on."

Godwin said she was surprised to learn she would be competing at nationals.

"I was shocked at first and then really, really excited," she said.

This is Godwin's second year on the team, but she got some inspiration and help from her older brother, Brandon, a 2010 North graduate who is currently at Air Force boot camp.

Both Godwins competed with the team last year as it qualified to compete in the national competition.

"He was on the team and said I should try it," she said. "I did, and I loved it. I had never shot before."

Shooting for them is "kind of a family thing," she added.

Their stepsister, Morgan Hubert, is the other girl on the team, though Rebecca Godwin hopes her younger sister, who's in the eighth grade, will decide to join them next year.

But until then, she will carry the shooting torch to New Mexico, where she'll go against students from some 400 Marine Corps JROTC schools.

And she's also pretty happy about that plane ride.

"It'll be my first time in an airplane, so that's almost as exciting as competing," she said.