By Ethan Miller ‘23
To some, it may look simple. Point at target, pull the trigger, whoever is closest wins. But in reality, rifle is much more complex and in-depth than that.
The rifle is not much of a gun, but rather a glorified BB gun, which is powered by air. When shot, it does not make a thunderous boom as it shoots small pellets. Other needed sports equipment includes eye protection, a strap, and pellets. The main piece of equipment for shooters is a weighted jacket, designed to slow down the heart rate of the shooter so that he or she can be more accurate when aiming.
As Joys Williams, a sophomore on the team, explains, “You need to be completely focused to shoot your best shot without getting nervous.”
The score for matches is kept by using 12 targets- 2 to sight in and 10 to shoot at. Each target is out of 10, so the shooters are scored out of 100 for a round. Each point missed out of 10 is subtracted from the final score, and, a typical good score for veteran shooters is between 97 and 100- that’s a margin for error of only 3 points.
Teams compete against other schools, pitting 9 student-athletes against the other school. Once all the shooters have completed their targets, the top 5 scores for the 2 schools are totaled up and the team with the higher score wins. Due to the close nature of the sport, most matches come down to mere points, and one shooter scoring an 8 instead of a 10 on his or her target can mean the difference between winning and losing.
The CV Rifle team has won the L-L League Championship 5 times, four of which came in the 80s (1981, 1982, 1984, 1985). They also won the league in 1990.
Since it does not draw as many spectators as other winter team sports, such as basketball and wrestling, the rifle team may be overlooked by some.
However, as sophomore Sierra Land says, “We have to practice every day just like every other sport.”
Rifle requires intense concentration, devotion, and practice to succeed. And CV’s rifle team does just that.