Plum rifle team works under radar

Monday, January 8, 2018 | 11:00 PM

We are a month into the winter high school sports season, and all the hoopla has been directed toward basketball, wrestling and swimming and diving. Those are not the only sports young student-athletes have been competing in.

There are 15 schools around the area that compete in the sport of rifle, including Plum.

The Mustangs compete in Section 3 with Butler, Hempfield, Indiana and Penn-Trafford. Although they have yet to win a match, coach Bob Davis has liked the effort of his team in the early part of the season.

“I have a nice mix of underclassmen and seniors,” Davis said. “They are a group of kids, and I enjoy the heck out of working with them.

“It is not a tradition sport like football or basketball or soccer. The kids show a lot of dedication and determination. They show up every day for practice.”

Davis is in his second year as the head coach after serving as the assistant for two years.

The team consists of 21 players, each of whom Davis has applauded for their dedication to the craft of rifling.

“It is just them and the rifle and the target,” Davis said. “The events are scored as a team, but they compete individually. It is very demanding. The difference between winning and losing a match is just a few points.”

Most teams in the league will hover around getting a perfect score of 800x, making the margin of error minimal for each member on the team. According to Davis, to be competitive, you need shoot near the mid 790s.

The Mustangs compete in two matches a week and have a month left in the season before the postseason starts. Team competitions for the playoffs start in February, and individuals will have their own playoffs. Davis and the Mustangs have not determined any shooters who will compete in that at this point.

Drew Karpen is a freelance writer.


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