The Hillsdale shotgun team competed in a public sporting clays competition in Lake Orion, Michigan, at the Bald Mountain Shooting Range on Saturday. The team competed with 94 other entrants in snowy conditions.
Senior Matthew Grunzweig got the highest overall score of the competition, with 96 out of 100 clays broken. Senior Emanuel Boyer scored second in the B class category, and senior Amanda Klug won the highest overall score for women and first place in the D class.
“Staying consistent takes a lot of mental toughness, and most importantly, a positive attitude,” Grunzweig said.
As the fall passes by and winter approaches, the team has been facing colder competitions each week.
“The cold was the hardest part of the shoot for me,” freshman Anthony LaMacchia said. “There wasn’t harsh wind or falling snow, but you still had to really layer up.”
Grunzweig was impressed with how the team did considering the winter weather.
“It’s always good to get experience going to away competitions,” assistant coach Jordan Hintz said. “The course was the right level of difficulty for what we’ll see at nationals.”
The Bald Mountain shoot was the last competition for the team in its fall season.
“We don’t require team members to shoot in the offseason, but they are strongly encouraged to,” Hintz said. “It’s also recommended to do eye training exercises, stay physically active, and work on your mental game.”
The break from the routine shoots and weight room workouts offers the team a chance to reflect on areas to improve going into the spring semester.
“My goal is to keep shooting over break, even if it’s only 100 targets a week,” LaMacchia said. “I’m also going to focus on the basics and get my gun mount to where it used to be.”
Klug said public shoots like these are a fun way to stay in practice.
“I could have definitely done better at Bald Mountain but I didn’t do my pre-shot routine or shot analysis,” Klug said. “That’s what happens when you get into these shoots and are having fun.”
The Chargers start practices again in January and will continue to work toward improving until the Nationals competition in Texas, where the team has won five years in a row.
“Wrapping up the fall season of my senior year is most certainly bittersweet,” said Grunzweig. “But I’m excited to help Hillsdale bring home another national championship.”