Sarasota Students Win Regional Army Championship Competition

The Sarasota Military Academy Rifle Team competed in the Army Service Championships on February 15 – February 17 in Anniston, Alabama and received first place in the regional competition and the opportunity to compete at the National JROTC Championships in March 2019.

“We are incredibly proud of our cadets and their abilities and we are excited to bring home first place in the regional championship as we prepare for the upcoming national competition,” said SMA-SFC Riess Pellegrino, Leadership Education Training (LET) 2 instructor and rifle team coach. “Our rifle team consists of dedicated cadets who set their own personal goals and work as a team to achieve success and we are thrilled to see their efforts result in a first place win.”

This is the 9th consecutive year that SMA’s Rifle Team has received accolades and qualified to attend and compete at the national level. The SMA team this year consists of ten high school cadets; SMA senior Catherine Taylor, junior Dante Aletto, sophomores Carsyn Band, Sophia Olazabal, Guadalupe Perez, Isabella Ponce and freshmen Kendal Goebel, Xavier Olson, Phillip Pellegrino and Andersen Suter.

Of the ten SMA cadets, nine posted improved personal records and accomplishments. Several cadets achieved high-ranking individual scores and received outstanding scores in a variety of categories.

“With only 2 of the ten cadets experienced in this competition, the entire team proved themselves to be mentally and emotionally prepared for the challenge of competing against much more experienced competitors,” added SMA-SFC Pellegrino. “We are excited to see how they compete at the national level as we represent Sarasota Military Academy, our community and our region.”

To learn more about Sarasota Military Academy, visit

About Sarasota Military Academy
Founded in 2002, Sarasota Military Academy (SMA) is a public charter school with two campuses located in Sarasota, Florida. Combining extraordinary academics with the highest military principles of camaraderie, focus, leadership, integrity, compassion, poise, honor and respect, SMA’s mission is to graduate young men and women who will confidently define their personal and unique goals for success in a multi-cultural and globalized world. Sarasota Military Academy High School is located at 801 N. Orange Avenue and Sarasota Military Academy Prep Middle School, is located at 3101 Bethel Lane. To learn more about SMA, visit

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