Rifle matches are scored on a largely individual basis. Each competitor can earn up to 600 points in a match. These points are earned by shooting in three different positions: Standing, kneeling, and prone. Each shot can receive up to ten points, and there are 60 total shots.
The veterans led the way for the Jr. Bills. Senior Hayden Steingruby shot a 562, good for second place, and senior Jack Doyle finished third with a 557.
“The team performed well, shaking a bit of the off-season rust off,” said head coach Will Bresnahan.
Steingruby and Doyle, along with seniors Adam Stemmler and Max Wilson, are leading the ranks for SLUH this season and have all been standouts in past years. The team has just a few seniors and no juniors, so underclassmen are a big part this year as well.
“This season’s opener was pretty similar to past season openers. Scores a bit lower than we expect going forward and the first taste of competition exposing problems that we can address in the coming weeks,” said Bresnahan.
“This is a tournament that historically SLUH, and everybody else that shoots on it, does a little bit lower than what they normally would,” said Steingruby.
With rifle being an intense, individual sport with a small margin for error, Bresnahan and the leadership team are always looking for ways to improve results. He noted that one main way that problems can be identified is through competitions and matches.
“The pressure of competition often magnifies problems individual shooters are having and allows us to focus on them. Long term, we will adjust the individual training plans for some shooters who had deficiencies expose themselves, but overall we are right on track to have another strong season,” said Bresnahan.
Next up for the Jr. Bills is the Predator Classic on Saturday. All three teams—freshman, JV, and varsity—will be traveling to Ozark High School to shoot.
According to Steingruby, most individual shooters nailed the standing and prone positions at the opening meet. However, the kneeling position will be key if the team hopes to improve on Saturday.
“We need to get our kneeling position consistent,” said Steingruby. “That’s kind of a make-or-break type of deal. …Something that tends to happen a lot is we have some inconsistent kneeling scores.”