Mich. high school’s marksmanship team wraps up season

Kurt Hauglie, The Daily Mining Gazette

Hancock — The Hancock Central High School Marksmanship Team has been around for 10 years, but Randal Meyer doesn’t think too many people know about it.

Meyer, the sergeant major in the HCHS Junior ROTC and the team’s instructor, said some Houghton High School students are part of the team.

The team competes at the Michigan Technological University shooting range, Meyer said. They shoot .177 pellet rifles, which is the same rifle used in some Olympic contests.

Meyer said marksmanship competitions are different from other sports in that the competitors don’t travel to contests. The team shoots at the Tech range and then sends paper targets to whichever school is hosting the competition.

“We compete against schools from all over the United States,” he said. “We host one every year.”

Meyer said the marksmanship team does well in competitions.

“We usually win a place in every competition,” he said. “This year, we won three competitions.”

The number of competitions in which the team participates varies, Meyer said.

“I try to get them a minimum of six competitions,” he said. “We did eight this year.”

The team is usually comprised of 12 to 18 members.

“I’ve had as high as 20,” he said.

The teams are made up of ninth- to 12th-grade boys and girls without separate divisions, Meyer said.

“It doesn’t matter in shooting,” he said.

In fact, Meyer said girls often do better than boys.

The marksmanship season usually takes part during the winter months, but Meyer said it went into spring this year.