Wa-Hi Senior, rifle team captain to sign with Naval Academy - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wa-Hi Senior, rifle team captain to sign with Naval Academy

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WALLA WALLA, WA - The rifle team captain from the Walla Walla High School JROTC Marksmanship program has accepted an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy and will sign his NCAA letter of intent in a ceremony this afternoon.

Cadet Major Daniel Enger, a senior graduating in June, will formally accept the appointment to the prestigious service school at Annapolis, Md., at 5:15 p.m. in the Fletcher Room at the Wa-Hi big gym.

The offer of appointment was sent by Coach Bill Kelley, Rifle Coach at the Academy, follows Enger’s performance at the Junior Olympic National Rifle Championship, according to Sgt. 1st Class Mark Mebes (pron. MAY-buss), Wa-Hi JROTC rifle team coach.

"Cadet Enger is the first four-time Junior Olympian from the Walla Walla High School Marksmanship program, attending Junior Olympics for Men’s Air Rifle in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 and attending for Men’s Smallbore Rifle competition in 2017," said Mebes.

Enger’s career in JROTC began when he joined WAHI’s JROTC program and began shooting competitively as a freshman. Mebes explained that Daniel distinguishing himself as a top athlete quickly and that within months he had earned a coveted place on the precision rifle team.  Enger has served as a scoring member of the 2015 and 2016 Army JROTC National Championship rifle teams.  As a sophomore in 2015, he captured the title of JROTC National Air Rifle Champion.

Approaching his senior year in 2016, Enger was selected as Rifle Team Commander at the rank of cadet captain, and was promoted to cadet major in February.  This position earned him operational control of the Blue Devil Battalion's three rifle companies and the two competitive rifle teams, precision and sporter classes.

Since July of 2016, Enger has been negotiating with several NCAA collegiate rifle coaches as a prospect for next season.  In January he traveled to Annapolis for an official NCAA visit.

"I got to tour the campus for two days and attended classes with an NCAA Rifle athlete. I also observed the team practicing and interviewed with the coach," said Enger.

In March, he visited universities at Ohio State and North Carolina, also on official NCAA visits. In April, following a strong performance at the Olympic Training Center, Enger evaluated his offers and decided on the Naval Academy.

“I want to major in engineering. All three colleges have excellent programs, but in the end I felt that the Naval Academy was the best fit for me,” Enger explained.

“Daniel has been considering Annapolis since at least his junior year in our program. Military Academies look for three aspects in a prospective cadet; scholar, athlete, and leader.  Daniel has a strong resume in all three areas,” said Mebes.

Towards the end of his junior year Daniel began the application process with the Naval Academy.  While his course load at Wa-Hi matched the upper level classes that the Academy demands, he needed to beef up the leadership portion of his academy application.  Already carrying a demanding class schedule, he chose to take the all-important JROTC staff class offered by Lt. Col. Bill Bialozor, the Wa-Hi Senior Army Instructor, to gain those additional skills.

“On the staff, I served as the Rifle Team Commander and learned leadership theory and application. I learned a lot from the colonel this year and it played a lot into my decision,” Enger said.

Signing with the Naval Academy today will set in motion a series of events that will keep him busy for the remainder of the school year through this summer.  He will report to Annapolis pm June 29 to begin Naval Cadet Basic Training (also known as Plebe Summer).  Upon completion of Plebe Summer he will begin his fall semester and start training with the Academy NCAA Division I Rifle Team in preparation for the 2017-18 season.