“The University of Akron’s rifle team will be holding the third annual Turkey Shoot fundraiser to help provide the nationally-ranked team with essential supplies to keep them in operation. Though the team is ranked 14th in the nation, many Akron students do not even know it exists.””
The University of Akron’s rifle team will be holding the third annual Turkey Shoot fundraiser to help provide the nationally-ranked team with essential supplies to keep them in operation.
Though the team is ranked 14th in the nation, many Akron students do not even know it exists.
To help spread the word and pay for ammo and travel expenses, the rifle team decided to let students and Akron residents fire a few rounds on Thanksgiving week.
Held on Nov 24 and 25 at the ROTC rifle range in the basement of Schrank Hall, the fundraiser will offer prizes including t-shirts and turkeys to the best shooters. A raffle will also be held for a new Marlin 795 .22 rifle. No experience is required, and each shot is $1 (or 15 for $10).
Entrants will shoot Olympic-style air rifles at paper targets in a situation not unlike the NCAA tournaments.
The whole point behind this is to promote our team and gun safety, said team member Michael Tokarz. We do exist and we’re actually pretty good.
Akron, which has been one of the elite teams in the nation for years, is coached by UAPD assistant chief Newt Engle. The team consists of 16 shooters from all over the East Coast.
NCAA shooting tournaments include smallbore and air rifle. Contestants aim at targets with 12 bull’s-eyes with a center target the size of the period at the end of this sentence.
Competitions begin with smallbore shooting. Shooters take 20 shots each at prone, kneeling and standing positions. After an hour break, the shooters have two hours to stand in position and fire 60 air rifle shots from the standing position.
Each team member has the chance to earn 600 points. In tournaments, each team consists of 4 shooters, making 2400 the perfect team score.
According to Tokarz, a respectable individual collegiate score is 570, and a good team score would be 2300.
Each shot takes five to six seconds. The shooter first makes sure his or her equipment is set up correctly. Then they follow BRASS: Breath, Rest, Aim, and Squeeze Slowly. After the shot is fired, the shooter reloads and repeats.
The process sounds simple, but constant repetition proves to be much harder than one would think.
Rifle is seriously 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical. It’s all in your head, Tokarz explained.
Tokarz would know. Born in West Virginia, he might as well have been born with a gun in his hand. When he was a small child, he remembers shooting his first gun, a 20-inch rifle.
As he grew up, he graduated to firing at metal animal targets. In high school, he started focusing on collegiate air rifle and smallbore shooting, skills that landed him a spot at the University of Akron.
Rifling is not only an intercollegiate sport. The US Olympic shooting team placed 2nd in terms of shooting medals in Beijing, but holds the all-time shooting medals record (99 medals, 42 more than 2nd place).
Akron hopes to improve on its stellar NCAA record in the past few years in its first home match on Nov 22 against Morehead State.