RICHMOND COUNTY, GA (WFXG) - Two Richmond County brothers are both some of the sharpest shooters in the state of Georgia. Marvin and Melvin Pell are this week’s “High 5 4 Kids” honorees.
The JROTC program at their school, Cross Creek High School, is one of the best in the nation.
Their team is the "defending State Champions, and American Legion State Champions, and Civilian Marksman State Champions and the Junior Olympic State Champions," rifle team coach and retired US Navy Commander Jonathan Shaw said. "So we have won for state championships last year; and we defended one of those titles already; and right now we're the top team in Georgia for the American Legion State Championship."
He said the Pell brother's are at the heart of the team.
"Both Melvin and Marvin are top 100 in the nation, shooters," Shaw said. "In fact, last year Marvin finished the year at number 11 in the nation, and Melvin was not far behind."
“I have the pressure of being better since he’s my younger brother,” Marvin, age 17, said, “but since we have a friendly rivalry, it just encourages us to be better than each other.”
The brotherly competition - inspiring Melvin, age 16, to join the team.
"I hit the backstop a couple times, but every time I kept on showing up for practice I got better each time," Melvin said.
It takes accuracy and precision to get a small lead pellet to hit such a tiny target, but it's their dedication on the range that's also making a difference for their grades.
"I think they work together," Shaw said. "It helps them with their focus and rifle, but it also helps them with their focus in classes."
"I feel like the class actually helps us be number one," Marvin said, "because he always encourages us to be better than ourselves the day before.""JROTC for me, it like disciplines me and shows me what could I do better," Melvin said.
“I think they’ll both do well,” Shaw said of what could be in store for them in the future. “They’re both good kids, are both quiet. They cause no trouble; they’re disciplined, and those are winning characteristics in today.”