Young shooters aiming high in local rifle league
TribLIVE Sports Videos
These kids are thinking big.
Last season, the Irwin Post 228 rifle team, the only all-junior squad in the seven-team Pittsburgh and Suburban Rifle League, finished in third place. That was its best showing ever.
This year, the team wants to move higher in the standings.
“We've definitely got a lot of potential,” said Irwin's Sarah Fink, a 16-year-old from Manor. “We've got a lot of young shooters who have a chance to make a name for themselves. I know we're going to try pretty hard.”
Finishing higher than third won't be easy, not with perennial powers Frazier-Simplex and Dormont-Mt. Lebanon in the way. Frazier-Simplex went 18-0 in winning last year's league title; Dormont-Mt. Lebanon finished second (15-3) with its only losses coming to the champs.
But Irwin's shooters have become more competitive with those teams, Irwin coach Bob Cain said.
“It's going to be a real interesting year for us,” he said. “I'm looking for big things.”
For Irwin Post 228, the emphasis always has been on creating young shooters first and on winning second, Cain said. For a while, the former didn't produce the latter.
The team once went more than 100 matches — the equivalent of six seasons — without a victory.
An increase in the volunteer coaching staff and a new focus on the mechanics of bone and muscle structure and how it relates to shooting from different positions has paid off, Cain said.
Instructors are also quick to emphasize positive results, touting the idea that “effort equals outcome.”
Most shooters have bought in, practicing three and four days a week.
One, Samantha Dickson, a freshman at Jeannette High School, said her scores climbed from about 230 out of 300 when she started to the high 280s last season. Her goal this season is to shoot in the mid-290s.
“It's fun,” Dickson said. “You get to shoot guns. You get to meet new people. And you get to travel to a lot of new places.”
Such enthusiasm is wonderful to hear as training a new generation of shooters remains as important as ever, Cain said.
“It's nice to win,” he said. “But the whole point of this is to get junior shooters pulling triggers and maybe passing this along to the next generation.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fishing report: Fall bite sparks good fishing
- Frye: Bright future for Yough River
- Studies detail buck behavior
- Changes made to Hunters Sharing the Harvest program
- Outdoor notices: Oct. 19, 2014
- Outdoors notebook: Area angler honored for working with kids
- Outdoors notices: Oct. 20, 2014
- Statewide hunters numbers following that of pheasants