Riflery Team Rising to the Occasion

By Sean Keane ’23

This past winter sports season was not the one that many people were expecting. Many of the indoor sports that people love to watch, such as basketball, hockey, and wrestling, were not able to happen due to the Coronavirus’ higher risk of transmission when indoors. Chaminade athletics were able to adapt, though, and salvage the sports they could for this winter season. The swim team was able to practice and compete since the chlorine of the pool helps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Chaminade’s Bowling Team also had a winter season as well as winter track and field since they are both not contact sports.

One other winter sport that rose to the occasion in this different school year was riflery. Not widely known and highly underrated, the Chaminade’s Varsity Riflery Team is one of the school’s hidden gems. It started its season later than usual this year, but its members were still able to reach new personal bests. 

The coronavirus put many restrictions on how the team would normally operate. Social distancing necessitated that only three people could shoot at a time instead of six, and all the members had to adjust to shooting while wearing masks which was challenging because the sport requires controlled and relaxed breathing. 

Lying prone on the ground, Augustus Mavrovitis ’23 prepares to fire at his target.

“Even with shortened practice time and less space on the range, the rifle team still managed to produce competition-level scores,” explained one of the team captains, Domenic Ferrante ’21.

The Varsity Riflery Team at Chaminade is part of the Adirondack Air Rifle League which includes several schools located throughout New York. No adjustments needed to be made, regarding coronavirus prevention, because all matches are done at each school’s own range, and the scores and targets are sent through the mail. During a match, the team will shoot in three positions: standing, kneeling, and prone. Although many of the other teams in the Adirondack League were not able to compete this year due to restrictions, the Flyers were able to submit scores to all of the scheduled matches. 

Coaches Lawrence Rice and Jeff Gross and the whole team did not accept any forfeits, but rather, allowed the other teams to make up the matches at a later date to get a true win, not a default win. So far, out of all the matches that the opposing teams were able to compete in, Chaminade has won all of them.

Conrad Ertel ’22 checks the scope and adjusts his stance to ensure that he performs well.

With this season nearly behind them, the team looks towards next year. Last season, the team was very fortunate to have Sydney Goldschlag, a friend of Coach Rice who competed in the Junior Olympics in Colorado as well as the University of Akron’s Rifle team, to instruct and enable the team to succeed. It is now up to the upperclassman on the team to pass down their skills to the incoming rookies. 

Daniel Sullivan ’22, a member of the team, optimistically stated: “Hopefully, this season of practice and improvement will prove itself valuable next year.”

Go Flyers!