Young club aims for greatnessBy Zachary Al-Khateeb | 01/25/2011 10:39pm
The Alabama skeet shooting club, in its third year as a club sport on campus, is primed and ready for a growth spurt. Originally founded by two students with an interest in guns, the skeet shooting club is well on its way to becoming a full-on club. According to Will Maccabe, one of the founding members and current president of the club, the club has already grown. “Now we’re starting to take that step to becoming a fully functional club,” Maccabe said. “There’s no doubt we’ll be a sport-affiliated team in the future, with the way we’re blowing up.” The club has received a lot of student interest, and the club has even been offered sponsorships from Blaser Rifles and Woods and Water, and despite having to raise most of its own money, the club is set to see additional growth. For example, the skeet shooting club was able to travel to San Antonio, Texas, to compete in the World Skeet Shooting Championships last October. In this first-ever appearance at these championships, Alabama had two players place in the top 10 of their class, and one place in the top 15. In skeet shooting, classes range from unclassified to AAA. The Alabama team members placed in the D and C classes, respectively. Still, the skeet shooting club has higher aspirations. Coach Claude Townsend, one of two coaches for the team, said his team still has a long way to go, and that he would eventually like to be able to compete in three to five tournaments annually. “We’re going to have to walk before we can run,” Townsend said. “And that means the founders are bearing a huge responsibility on their club. As we get more support, the opportunity for students to join will be better. “Our ultimate goal is for this team to compete at a national level, and we would love for the University of Alabama to be competitive.” The club has had some difficulty finding committed members, however, because most club members have to provide their own guns and ammunition, as well as to travel back and forth from Birmingham to practice. “We’re a very small club beginning to develop,” Townsend said. “And obviously our handicap is the distance from our practice site to the campus.” For Maccabe, however, this sport amounts to more than just simple target practice. “We’re looking for dedicated people,” Maccabe said. “It is a game of perfection. You’re classified by your percentages, and they keep track of it through all the tournaments. It’s not just a point and shoot game; it’s all in your head. It’s all about how you control your head.” Still, Maccabe and Townsend both describe this sport as one where just about anyone can join. “People like me have been hunting all their life,” Maccabe said. “Then you have that class that’s never been exposed to guns. We just like spending time outside.” Townsend said, “We’ll take first-timers, experienced shooters and current competitive shooters. We’re interested in people that like to shoot shotguns at clay targets. That’s basically what we’re doing.”
If you are interested in joining the skeet shooting club, contact Will Maccabe at firstname.lastname@example.org.