Rifle team shooting for success

The rifle team practicing in the cafeteria.

Staff Photo

The rifle team practicing in the cafeteria.

From cafeteria firing ranges to being in the top 15 in the nation, Cross Creek’s riffle team continues to compete against some of the top teams across the U.S.

Cross Creek Times got the opportunity to speak with Commander Shaw, the head of NJROTC, and talk about the rifle team’s most recent competition.

Cross Creek recently went head to head with Westside, the previous title holder for a number of years, and won with the close score of 993 to 981. Competitions involve students shooting in prone, kneeling and standing positions, and the number of targets vary, Shaw said.

The guns used in competitions are pellet rifles that rely on compressed air to fire a round. More sophisticated precision rifles are sometimes used in competition, but Shaw said that Cross Creek does not use them because they are much more expensive than pellet rifles.

One can typically find the Cross Creek rifle team practicing in the cafeteria. It might sound dangerous, but Shaw said the targets are equipped with special backstops that keep the pellets from ricocheting or causing any damage.

Jarett Hutchens and Katleyn Martin are two of the top shooters on the Cross Creek team. Hutchens, a sophomore and the No. 2 shooter on the team, said he was confident going into the competition. Hutchens also said “it felt really good,” when asked about the win.

Martin said she had a relaxed attitude going into the competition.

“If they beat us they beat us, if they don’t they don’t,” Martin recalled thinking. “It felt really good to finally beat them.”

Shaw likes to help and coach the members of his rifle team. He’d like take credit for their successes, but knows there is more  to it. Shaw never fails to believe in his shooters and continuously gives them support on everything .

“It’s not me,” he said. “It’s the shooters.”

Rifle team member Nina Rhodes takes aim at a target inside the Cross Creek cafeteria
Rifle team member Nina Rhodes takes aim at a target inside the Cross Creek cafeteria