St. Thomas Academy Rifle Team defeats Warrenton Rifles

Shooting its highest score of the season, St. Thomas Academy Rifle Team defeated Warrenton Rifles 1,053 to 987 in the National Air Rifle League. With the win, St. Thomas Academy is in 13th place overall and first place within the Junior Rifle Club conference. The team currently has a 1-1 record. St. Thomas Academy was led by Michael Driscoll, who shot a 266. The remaining contributing members were Daniel Staelgraeve, Kaleb Rutgers and John Copeland. The team is coached by Chief Warrant Officer 3 Paul Preblich, US Army (ret).

Warrenton Rifles currently has a 0-2 record. After the loss, Warrenton is in 23rd place overall and second place within the Junior Rifle Club conference. Warrenton Rifles was led by Seth Carver who shot a 262. The remaining contributing members were Jacob Schoonenberg, Ryan Roeber, and Hunter Brown. Warrenton Rifles is from Warrenton, Va., and is coached by Claude Davenport.

St. Thomas Academy will compete next against Ramona NJROTC from Ramona, Calif. Ramona NJROTC currently has a 0-2 record.

These two teams are competing in the Champions Division of the Orion National Air Rifle League. Sponsored by the Orion Scoring System, the league is a national team league for high school teams and junior rifle clubs. The Champions Divisions is the most difficult division in the league. The league has two parts. An 8-week regular season, in which teams compete for their conference’s title, followed by the post-season, comprised of two single-elimination tournaments. Only the top 16 teams across all conferences advance to the post-season, to compete for the league title.

In each match, the teams compete in a Three-Position Air Rifle match, which is modeled after Olympic Rifle competitions but adapted to high school age athletes. Each athlete  shoots 10 shots in three different shooting positions: prone, standing and kneeling. Each shot is worth a maximum of 10 points. The sum of points scored in the 30 shots is the athlete’s total. The team score is comprised of the best four athletes from each team.

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