Rifle team warms up this winter

Rifle+team+express+their+excitement+for+their+current+2022-2023+winter+season.+Photo+credit%3A+Darren+Woodruff

Rifle team express their excitement for their current 2022-2023 winter season. Photo credit: Darren Woodruff

Zoey Robinson, Staff Reporter

Southern Lehigh’s second oldest sport, the rifle team has started back up for another winter season. Mr. Robert Gaugler, the rifle team coach, confirmed his plans to continue their five-year streak as state championship contenders. 

During weekly relays and practices, students compete in teams of around eight under the advice of four team captains. During Spartan periods, captains help plan out schedules for upcoming competitions.

The team practices at the Hellertown Sportsmen’s Association, a short ten-minute drive from the high school. However, members expressed frustration with scheduling their times to shoot, since Southern Lehigh shares the same range and with a much larger Salisbury team.

Mr. Gaugler has overseen the rifle team’s rise in popularity. After last year’s success and the loss of ten senior shooters, Gaugler is looking to fill his team with driven and focused members.

There are a total of 10 teams in the league, consisting of club and school teams, like Southern Lehigh’s.

While it is not as traditionally popular as other sports, the rifle team is a place for students to form tight-knit communities that promote determination and safety. Team bonding, senior Darren Woodruff said, includes anything from team pasta dinners to movie nights and snow-tubing.

 “From a leadership standpoint, it’s given me more confidence,” Woodruff said. “It’s made me have to be more organized.”

Rifle is one of a select few co-ed teams at Southern Lehigh, and is far more mentally demanding than one might think. 

“It’s not just using guns, it’s more about accuracy, precision, and doing things perfectly.” Mr. Gaugler said. “It’s not only hitting a target the size of a quarter but hitting the eye of the eagle on the quarter every time.”

The team looks forward to perfecting their craft, and hopes to prove themselves  in upcoming tournaments.