The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

Target in sight: Sofia Brisbane’s journey to the bullseye

Photos: Nathaniel Jordan
Lurking below the publicity of NC athletics, senior Sofia Brisbane quietly dominates Georgia high school riflery. Her unmatched focus and character have molded her from a curious middle schooler to one of the fiercest shooters in the country. Raking in accolades, Brisbane has spent the last four years on the rifle team sweeping through state and national competitions and proceeds en route to yet another shot at a state title.

Almost unknown to the NC student population, the Warriors varsity rifle team holds one of NC’s well-kept secrets. Shooting in the freshman cafeteria twice a week, senior precision shooter Sophia Brisbane perfects her craft and silently rises to the top of the riflery ranks. Despite no recognition of the rifle team from NC’s athletics page, Brisbane has molded into a nationally recognized prodigy. 

Brisbane, varsity lettered since her freshman year, quickly climbed the ladder through the rifle team. Since the team almost exclusively hosts Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) cadets, her early accomplishments became well recognized and respected within the program. Brisbane now leads as the Rifle team captain for both the NC varsity squad and North Cobb-Harrison NJROTC.

“[The rifle team] gave a presentation at my middle school, Barber, and I thought it was so cool like I thought ‘No way you can actually shoot those rifles in school.’ I remember seeing all the people on the team in their gear. I actually got into the ROTC program and told myself, ‘I’m going to make it on that team,’… A few weeks later I made it on the precision team as a freshman,” Brisbane said.

Brisbane dominates in both the classroom and JROTC. At the 2023 Riflery State Championships, Brisbane, a junior at the time, finished as a top 25 shooter in Georgia as the sole representative for the Warriors. She then moved on to compete at the Navy National championships later in the school year.  

Stopping on the floor in Anniston, Alabama, Brisbane lined up against the country’s top shooters out of the country’s 523 NJROTC programs. Brisbane punched her ticket to the next national championship after locking in the 12th-highest score at Navy Nationals.

“I think about everything I’ve already accomplished and I just remind myself that I am capable of achieving high scores. Lieutenant [Derek Easterling] used to tell us before our matches, ‘aim small miss small,’ which means the smaller your goal, the smaller a miss can be. So I think to myself, aim small, miss small, give it the best I’ve got, and everything will go well,” Brisbane said.

After blowing Navy shooters out of the water, Brisbane marched on with other marksmen in sight. Alongside Easterling, the former head coach, the then-junior traveled to Ohio to face off in the all-branch JROTC nationals. Out of 3,500 schools and over 550,000 cadets, Brisbane placed 52 in the country and proved herself as a dominant force. 

At the 2024 Georgia High School Association (GHSA) Area Nine championship, Brisbane tied with her teammate, magnet senior Abigail Rigg, as the highest shooter in the competition. Those scores led the rifle team to a second-place finish behind the Kennesaw Mountain Mustangs. Brisbane and her team fired through the GHSA bracket, and she qualified herself for the State championship match yet again on March 15.

While she currently does not plan on shooting at the collegiate or professional level, Brisbane has left a lasting impact on the NC rifle team. Her leadership has allowed teammates to excel, including another varsity freshman, Raymond Williams, who competes alongside four other Warrior shooters. As she aims down the final stretch of her senior year, Brisbane’s legacy follows behind her, setting up the Warriors for a decorated future. 

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About the Contributor
Nathaniel Jordan
Nathaniel Jordan, Reporter
Nathaniel Jordan, a senior magnet student and cadet in NC’s NJROTC program,  begins his first year on the school newspaper. Jordan's deep passion for writing and research led him to his aspirations of journalism as a future career path. Outside the classroom, Jordan has played for NC’s baseball team, participated on three competitive teams in JROTC and is employed as a head instructor at Choi Kwang Do martial arts. His creative mind extends his wide range of talents into painting, skateboarding and photography. Jordan consistently constructs compelling and thought-provoking poems and is currently working on his first poetry book poetry. Jordan volunteers every Sunday at his church working in the daycare, and strives to be active in school and in his community. With his strenuous efforts to demonstrate great leadership, Jordan attained positions as assistant operations officer, platoon commander, and class leader in JROTC. Jordan also served as a magnet ambassador. Jordan’s goals on The Chant are to grow the NC community and to bring knowledge to social events, breaking news and spreading his passion and knowledge to all readers. Reaching the tail end of his high school career, Jordan hopes his variety of articles on The Chant can help grow the spirit of Warrior Nation, and ensure that nobody is uninformed.

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    Timothy BrisbaneMar 13, 2024 at 1:10 PM

    Very inspiring Sofia I love your mindset and willingness to compete in the classroom and in your NJROTC program. You are definitely a Lady Warrior and a good ambassador for the program. Proud of you 👍🏾