Marksmanship team pulls trigger on second season


Andrea Gonzalez

Varsity shooter Samuel Thrower aims at the target during one of their practices.

Andrea Gonzalez, Reporter

For a group of students, it has been in their future goals since they were children to pick up a rifle and advance their skills in shooting. For others, they had to get out of their comfort zone and try something new, which they now love.


With fundraising, going out to gun shows, and selling raffle tickets, JROTC students succeeded last year in starting a marksmanship team. Every week, varsity and junior varsity members practice what they enjoy in the South Gym mezzanine with their trainer, Colonel Scott Vanderhoof.


“It’s basically an opportunity to teach kids responsibility with guns and also gun safety,” Vanderhoof said.


The student’s motivation to be a part of this team comes from their parents which in most cases, their parents are in the military. Junior Commander Trey Tucker, though, never thought too much of it. His dad is in the military, but guns and shooting never caught his attention as a kid.


Last year, Tucker found this new interest and said what motivated him to join the team was his desire to be better.  He said he enjoys what he does, and is happy with his spot. As commander, he said he likes to watch himself and his peers grow.


“I’m learning to lead others,” Tucker said. “Also, I’m learning how to shoot competitively. I’ll have scholarship opportunities; it’s kind of therapeutic for me being out there.”


Deputy commander Kaciee Swierenga also has a passion for the activity. She recommends the Marksmanship team to all girls.


“Women are natural[ly] better shooters than men,” Swierenga said.


In February, the Marksmanship team commence their competitions against all Omaha Metro schools. These students have earned their spot, after going through training courses and tests to successfully be where they’re at now.


“Marksmanship to me is a chance for kids to get together and shoot, have fun, learn leadership and just become a family within the corps,” Swierenga said.