The Mavericks Team

Sebastian Osea, Staff Writer

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The Oakton Air Rifle Club is a recruiting effort for the Mavericks, an independent club team for high schoolers whose schools don’t have teams such as Oakton. It is not associated with school and therefore run through the IWLA Centerville air rifle range.

There are two types of rifles: sporter and precision. Sporter rifles are when the range will help introduce you to the sport and are a “one size fits all” type of rifle. They are designed specifically for a subcategory of competitive marksmanship that requires less equipment involved and is not an Olympic or college event. On the other hand, precision rifles are all made to be Olympic level pieces of equipment. They are far more adjustable and noticeably better for competition as a result. However, precision rifles are  very expensive to buy if one decides to get a new one. The cost is about $3,000, not to mention other equipment that is pretty expensive.

If one decides to take part and dedicate oneself to the sport, they may buy used precision rifles, compete with a sporter rifle or borrow a sporter rifle from the range. Furthermore, one might also buy a precision rifle from graduated students who may not choose to shoot in college, thus having a guarantee that the rifle was well cared for.

The sport is a high school, college, and Olympic sport. The aim is to attempt to get the highest score possible in three positions; that is prone, kneeling and standing. One must take ten shots each in each position. One would also find out what about their position helps and what does not. The equipment required includes a rifle, jacket, sling and glove. Other equipment is optional.

The competitions include regular season matches in the winter (3*10 in 55 mins) and regionals will be at the end of the season. Open matches will be held year round and there will also be Junior Olympics. To attain a Varsity letter currently, one must score at least 275 points. In order to compete in a regular winter season, one will have needed to practice all three positions and feel comfortable with them. Progressing to this point may take a few months depending on how prepared one is and how much time they put into it.

To get started, one must go to the Sills Air Range at the Izaak Walton League in Centerville and inform the coaches that they are interested in the Mavericks team. One must also attend open practices on Monday from 4:30-8:00 pm and or Friday from 5:30-9:00 pm. Contact information for the head of the club is: [email protected]  571-455-4542.

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