Flyers Riflery Firing on All Cylinders: Flyers Come within Point Blank Range of a Victory

Patrick McKenna ’18 takes aim and prepares to hit his target.

PBy Cole Dougherty ‘18

Part of Chaminade High School’s mission is to offer students activities they wouldn’t find at other schools.  Among these unique opportunities is the ability to try out for the varsity riflery team.  Although this sport may not attract as large a crowd as some other sports, being on this team requires just as much skill, if not more. 

As with any varsity sport, becoming skilled requires daily practice.  Members of the riflery team train to master command of their weapons and to perfect the techniques necessary to hit the bullseye.  In league competition, the targets—positioned 33 feet away from the shooters—are printed on the borders of a 10 x 12.5 inch official NRA weight tagboard.  Two practice targets are located on the center of the board; these targets can be used by shooters to warm up or as a means to calibrate their gun.

Once the shooter commits to hit one of the 10 targets on the outer portion of the target paper, he is not permitted to return to the practice targets.  The rifleman completes his first round of targets and marks his score by deducting points based off how many rings away from the bullseye each shot hit.  After firing a second round, the scores are added together. The team whose top four shooters’ combined total score is higher wins the match.

The Flyers shot well in their contest with Central Square on Thursday, January 19; however, it was not enough to come away with a victory.  Despite the loss, Chaminade’s top four shooters had an impressive outing, with each scorer posting nearly 180 points on his own.  Led by Joseph Mooney ‘17, Conor McGowan ‘17, Patrick McKenna ‘18, and captain Joseph Ferrante ’17,  Chaminade earned a grand total of 718 points, narrowly losing to Central Square’s 750 points.

The riflery team at Central Square High School has been the only team to defeat the Flyers so far this season and is one of few opponents the Flyers do not visit for matches. These contests, called postals, tend to be against very talented programs.  “When facing a team like Central Square,” says Head Coach Larry Rice, “the type of competition is definitely on a higher level.  They’re a skillful group of shooters, but with our talent, we are capable of being right there with them.”

Although the ultimate goal is to win every match, losing close matches like this does more help than harm for the Flyers.  It leaves the team hungry for redemption, gives them a reason to work harder in practice, and instills in them a fury to come out “guns blazing” when they square off against Willsboro on January 31.

Edited by Sean Maleady