WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – One of the 2020 Summer Olympic events is shooting an air rifle.
It’s a high school sport as well. “Every kid can’t dunk a basketball or go out and play football whatever but most kids can relate to something in JROTC ,” said 1SG George Williams, North Brunswick High School JROTC Rifle Coach.
The cadets shoot from three positions, prone, kneeling, or lying down. They shoot at a target and score points based on accuracy. “The North Brunswick High School JROTC rifle team has ranked as high as number 12 in the nation and as high as number 4 in the Army,” said Williams.
North Brunswick High School also has the best shooter in the county. “I joined the JROTC program and first sergeant gave me the opportunity to shoot and I turned out to be really good at it, “ said Delaney Larson, North Brunswick H.S. Rifle Team.
The rifles used are air rifles with small lead pellets. The targets are ten meters away. Just last month the North Brunswick team moved from an a small room with paper targets to a high tech electronic shooting range. “It just makes a world of difference when the kids can come into a start of the art facility like this,” said Williams. “I get to see exactly where I need to go and we have sites on the bottom that we an change and we’ll be able to see if we need to go to the left, right, up or down so it’s just easier to see the results quicker,” said Larson.
The cadets practice two to three times a week for 1 – 2 hours. “There’s a thing called imagination where you think about the target and then you use your method which is the approach method of it and that’s how you’ll get the target. I also keep a journal and I’ll write my shot plan down on it and I can read over that. That way I know what to do,” said Larson.
Larson set me up to try for myself. The first thing we did was spread our feet shoulder width apart and pointing forward so our hips are square. There are two sites to look through. The object is to look from the back site through the front site to the black dot on the target. Like they say, the third time’s a charm. After completely missing the target twice I finally managed to hit it, but no where near the area needed to score a point.
Larson has this advice for anyone thinking of trying the sport. “If you’re really willing to put in the time and the work and if you’re good at focusing on stuff then this would be the sport but if you’re not willing to put in the time and practice you might want to find a different sport because it does take some time but it’s worth it.”
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