Debi Weiser: JROTC’s Hidden Champion


West Forsyth JROTC Program

Cadet Captain Debi Wieser official photo for the Rifle Team.

AJ Summers, Features Writer

Entering her final year at West, senior Captain Debi Weiser is continuing to break records as West Forsyth’s top shooter. Weiser is ranked 13th in the nation for Rifle and is also the only West Forsyth student to become the American Legion Junior Shooting Sport State Champion in North Carolina.
Rifle is an extracurricular offered in the JROTC program where students are able to shoot targets with an air rifle. Safety is strictly enforced with every shooter needing to pass a rifle safety test before they are able to shoot. Rifle consists of three different shooting positions: prone, standing, and kneeling. Students participating in Rifle are allowed to compete for their school and travel to competitions, where they shoot in all three positions. In each position, there are 20 targets and a shooter gets one shot per target, the highest possible score a shooter can get is 600. Weiser has set a program record of 550 during a competition.
Weiser first began Rifle her freshman year, when JROTC had just added the extracurricular to their program. There were already many other students with more rifle experience than her, including Junior Noah Curtis. Curtis became the first top shooter at West, but by the end of Wieser’s freshman year, she surpassed Curtis as the top shooter and began to break every single one of his records.
“When Weiser first started, she was already pretty good, but she progressed really quickly. She paid attention to the instruction and she incorporated it into what she was doing,” JROTC instructor Major Richard Sugg said.
Weiser rarely misses practice and is known for her hard work and passion for the sport.
“It inspires me a lot actually and I think it inspires everybody else too. To see someone so passionate about what they do on the Rifle team,” junior Bryce Wentzel said.
Her dedication has not only contributed to her own personal growth, but has led her to hold both the standing and kneeling school records for the school.
“As I kept shooting, I kept seeing the achievements I was making and I was setting personal records, so it just kept motivating me to set school records,” Weiser said.
Even though Rifle is mainly a solo sport, Weiser hasn’t been doing this alone. There are 38 members on the Rifle team and three of them have been on the team with her since the start.
“ If I didn’t have my teammates, then this sport would be really, really boring but besides that, without the coaches; I wouldn’t have gotten where I am without them,” Weiser said.
Weiser has had a big influence on her team by helping with equipment and giving advice to her fellow teammates.
“One of the things I learned from her was not to count my score because that will deter you from making so many different approaches to your competition,” senior Logan Feathers said.
With Weiser graduating this year, her legacy and the impact she has had will remain.
“She’s been with us since the beginning and all the stuff she’s done is gonna stay long after she’s gone. She’s really reliable and genuinely a pretty good kid so yeah, I’m gonna miss her,” Sugg said.