Hometown Spirit: Northside High's Rifle Team is on Target

Northside High opened its doors 6 years ago, and many of their sports programs are still trying to build and grow.

But you would never know it when looking at the Patriot's Air Rifle Team.

After bringing home the state title for the past three years in a row, these sharp shooters continue to work hard, hoping to win for the fourth time around.

Their breaths come out slowly, methodically, as they wait for just the right time to fire...

Forrest Klein, a Northside High Junior and a member of the Air Rifle Team says, "Shooting is 90% mental, honestly, if your not thinking about it, you might as well put the gun down."

With extremely small targets, most competitors cannot even see where they are shooting with the naked eye.

In the midst of competition, right before they get ready to pull the trigger, what goes through these kids heads?

"Pretty much nothing, you don't want anything in your head, completely focused on the shot, try to think nothing, I'm relaxed, steady," said Ian Young, a Northside High Junior and member of the rifle team.

Because of the intense nature of the sport, coaches say being at the highest levels of competition can be nerve wracking.

Northside High Air Rifle Coach, Lt. Colonel Richard Brewer says, "As a coach, I can coach them during practice but once they're on the range it's very frustrating because all you can do is really watch and hope that they know what they need to do."

To get to this level of expertise is no easy task. These shooters say most of their free time is spent on Northside's rifle range.

"We practice alot, I practice more than anything else, its a lot of hours, dedication", says Air Rifle Team member, Michelle Postma.

But all that hard work paid off for the Northside Patriots.

Shooters say nothing compares to bringing home their school's first state sports title, as well being able to call themselves the best.

Northside's rifle season is getting ready to kick off.

They are in the middle of tryouts right now, looking for the best to continue the tradition of excellence.

It's safe to say those new kids have a lot to live up to. Returning member really want to bring home that fourth state title.