Pictured (from left) are Iredell-Statesville Schools Superintendent Jeff James, West Iredell High Principal Ben Johnson, I-SS Board chairman Bill Howell, Cadet Mack Shook, Cadet Cameron Morrison, First Sgt. Reggie Hooker and board member Mike Kubiniec.


The Iredell-Statesville Schools Board of Education recognized three West Iredell High School JROTC cadets for their heroic actions this past summer.

Cadets Rome Lackey, Cameron Morrison and Mack Shook were kayaking on Lookout Shoals during the summer break and their quick actions helped save a young man from potentially drowning.

During their December 11 meeting, the school board presented the cadets with a certificate for their life-saving actions. They received a standing ovation from the board and those in attendance.

On July 26, Lackey, Morrison and Shook passed a small group of young men swinging on a rope at the lake. There was a significant drop off and cliff face.

As a young man was swinging, he tried dismounting with a back flip, but his foot became caught in the loop at the end of the rope. He then swung back, crashed into the cliff face and then swung back out over the lake where his head was submerged in the water.

The young man was thrashing above the water so that his head wasn’t fully submerged.

This is when Lackey, Morrison and Shook saw that he was in crisis. They quickly paddled over to him and started to provide immediate assistance by helping him keep his head above the water.

They saw that his foot was starting to change color due to the limited blood flow with his full body weight compressing the rope around his foot.

Working together, they kept his head out of the water, balancing the boats as they cut through the rope to release him. He was bleeding from his face and arm, as well as had many bruises from the impact. His ankle was also bruised.

Lackey is currently in basic training for the U.S. Army and is no longer a cadet.

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