Shooting team shoots for the stars


Simpson Shooting Team at the range taking a break after some practice.

by Triston Murdick, Staff Reporter

The Simpson College shooting team, although hidden behind the spotlight of Simpson’s larger sports like soccer, basketball, baseball and football, are coming off a two-year win streak at nationals which sees over 100 different teams from all over.

 Junior Riley Ericson said, “We have a target on our back after last year for sure.”

Confidence is the leading feeling for the team’s upcoming season. Ericson said, “We will be doing pretty good. I think if we all focus on the game plan and control what we can control, we will have a pretty good shot.” 

Ericson was backed by junior Breydon Paxson, who said, “I feel really confident. We have a lot of good starters from last year on the national team, and the new people are picking up the weight of lost seniors last year.”

Longtime coach of more than 20 years, Coach Dan Martin said, “I think we got a good chance, we didn’t lose a whole lot. Underclassmen are stepping up so we have the ability to repeat ourselves if we keep our heads on and keep the right attitude. I think we can do it.”

The team has some great long-time shooters of the sport, like Paxson and Ericson, who both have been shooting since 8th grade. Having members who know what to expect and know how to be successful as a team is part of what makes them so successful. 

As to what it feels like to be on such a successful team, Paxson said, “It’s fantastic putting all the hard work in and finally seeing it be put to use and accomplish your dreams. It’s amazing.”

Although this sport is individual in a way, the team members have to work together even more than any other sport because the coach is not allowed to coach them on the field.

 “A lot of the success is built from the team itself. Teamwork, culture, right personalities have to want to be a part of the team,” Martin said

When it comes to preparing for a meet and getting ready for shooting time, Paxson said, “We shoot in all kinds of weather from blizzards, sleet, and pouring rain so you have to be prepared mentally.” 

Coach Martin seconded this.

“A lot of the game is psychological and mental,” he said. “You have to be able to deal with the loss of birds.”

To explain all the team’s preparations, success and confidence can be explained through their culture that has been built which is like Martin said, “The team overall is much bigger than the individual.” 

For them the team is the biggest and most important part of the sport.