Preparation leads to success for shooting team


Photo courtesy of Jordan Mitchell

The whole team poses for a team photo at Reagan’s football stadium on a cool evening in march. The team will travel to Millstone 4-H camp for the state tournament on April 30.

Tsion Saunders, Sports Editor

Reagan’s shooting team recently competed in the District 7 Tournament, finishing in fifth place overall and finishing third in the shotgun category. Also, the team finished in 16th place out of 209 teams throughout all nine districts. On top of that, Reagan’s black squad earned an invitation to the state tournament on April 30. 

There are 29 members on the team who are divided into three squads based on experience and skill levels: the black squad, the silver squad, and the teal squad.  

The black squad consists of the best shooters and the most experienced on the team.  Seniors Logan Wilson and Laurel Hull are on the black squad and are two of the top shooters on the team.

Wilson has been on the team for five years having joined the program in eighth grade. His favorite category is shotgun and he enjoys going to an open field on Saturday’s shooting with a great group of teammates. 

“It’s kind of a recuperating process from the past couple of years with COVID and everything,” Wilson said “but we’ve been pretty strong since then, and we’re just practicing for states.”

Being on the shooting team means being responsible and mature. Team members must attend practices, bring all the proper gear every time and complete a hunter safety course before joining.

The team has been practicing every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. since December of 2021. Practice is never canceled no matter the weather, so it is always imperative to bring the proper gear to each practice. 

Shooting team gear consists of firearms, archery equipment, outdoor clothing, insulated underwear, rain gear and waterproof boots. Bringing equipment to practices, inter-district scrimmages and district tournaments helps each shooter be successful. 

At each tournament, there are four shooting categories: shotgun, rifle, archery and orienteering. Members don’t have to compete in all four categories, but club sponsor Jordan Mitchell encourages them to do so in order to get the most out of the program. 

“Repetition helps and we just focus on safety and the importance of what hunter safety actually means,” Mitchell said. 

 Mitchell is a first-year club sponsor for Reagan, having spent the previous eight years at East Forsyth. With this being his first year as a raider, the future for the program is bright as he and the team have achieved major accomplishments this season. 

Junior Dylan Reid is also a part of the program and has been for three years. Reid competes in the shotgun and rifle events, but prefers shooting shotgun more. He is a part of the teal squad and has been making steady progress to move up squads.

“Being on the team is really fun and the friend group is great,” Reid said. “I have loved all three years of being on the team.”

Reagan’s shooting team has had a very successful season full of wins, awards and accolades. This season has been pivotal for the program as they’ve seen unparalleled growth and achievements. Placing 5th in the district tournament is an all-time high and really shows what type of program Mitchell looks forward to building going into year two. 

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission issues one sportsmanship award for every district tournament. This year Reagan’s shooting team as a whole won it, and all three squads contributed. 

“Winning that was big for all three teams and we look forward to future tournaments,” Mitchell said.