Shooting team promotes unique sport
Courtesy / Erik Vernon
Though shooting might not be a sport you can wave a foam finger at, the members of Grand Valley State University’s Shooting Team are just as focused on their sport as any other team out there.
It may not come with the same fanfare as football or basketball, but steady hands and pinpoint accuracy are necessary when you step onto the range, proving that it takes a skilled hand to excel in this challenging sport.
Shooting does have its distinctions from other sports. It’s hard to look at shooting as being classified as either a team or individual sport, but the Grand Valley State University shooting club proves it deserves a place in the world of sports on campus.
“It’s sort of an individualized team sport,” said club officer Christopher Ward. “You’re on a team, we call it shooting on team … we take our top five shooters and we say these are the guys being scored. They score the top four of those five, they shoot from three separate positions, which are standing, kneeling and prone (laying on the ground).”
GVSU is a healthy-sized division II school in most athletic competitions, but, for the Shooting Club, size doesn’t matter in regard to the size of the schools the compete against. They regularly face schools like Ohio State University, Purdue University , and Michigan State (until their team recently folded).
GVSU will see these teams and others similar to them in their championship match. It may seem difficult for a smaller school to compete with the big dogs, but financial officer Bruce Dixon said the team seems up to the task.
“I think because of our huge concentration on practice and technique and trying to get into positions constantly, that we will do fairly well (in the championship),” Dixon said. “I think that our team can compete with the best of them.”
Club teams and other non-varsity teams always require a great amount of effort and dedication to come to fruition. To gain enough people that are interested in your sport, who have the talent to field a team that can compete against Division II club teams, all while managing the financial burden of running the team takes a person who is willing to put their life on hold for the sake of the club’s members.
For the GVSU shooting team that person is team president Erik Vernon.
“It’s a lot more responsibility than I thought it would be actually,” Vernon said. “It is definitely more work than I thought it would be, but something I’m definitely glad that I’ve done. It’s a good experience, and it’s more work but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s nice to have a hand in all the decisions that are made for them team and everything, and as well for club sports because as an officer we’re on the council that votes at the club sports meeting and all that, which is a nice feeling.”
The shooting team is always looking for interested members, regardless if they have been shooting for years or if you’ve never held a gun before.