Custer’s Youth Team Ends Perfect Season — Two National Records!

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Team Gotta (in red) commands the podium at the SPP Nationals, having won the first and third-place “Senior Rimfire” titles, plus high lady, and high senior male. Sister team the “Renton Steel Dragons” stands on the second-place position. They won the “Junior Rimfire” title.

Tiny Custer Sportsmen’s Club has much to be proud of in “Team Gotta,” CSC’s youth pistol team.

“You guys just blew us away,” says  Anthony Veith, top scorer for the US Military Academy team at West Point.

Their “perfect season” came to a close Sept. 1, with Team Gotta standing tall as the “Fastest Team in the Nation.”  They won their state match, won regionals, won nationals, and set TWO national records in the process.

“It’s such an honor working with these kids,” says Head Coach Robin Taylor. “They’ve worked really hard to get to where they are, and to have them set the national record in BOTH disciplines, I couldn’t be more pleased.”

The Scholastic Pistol Program (SPP) recognizes two major disciplines — “rimfire pistol” (shot with .22 pistols) and “centerfire pistol” (shot with police-type 9mm pistols). Teams of youth from age 12-20 compete against other youth teams across the country, and college teams compete against other college teams. The US Military Academy at West Point often leads the pack, competing with the University of Kentucky, and Texas A&M to see who can set the fastest overall time.

Team Gotta

Team Gotta at Washington State.

Team Gotta’s 2015 squad consisted of 11 high school and middle-school students — some as young as 13 years old.  The team breaks into 4-person groups to compete, calling itself “Team Gotta A” and “Team Gotta B.”

Starting at the SPP Southwest Regional in February, “Team Gotta A” (Jordon Castro, Adam Thomas, Dan Harris, and Jake Overstreet) set the 4-person national record in rimfire pistol. They set it again at the Washington State in May, then set it a third time at the SPP nationals in July. Their final time won the national high-school championship, and beat all the colleges too!

The numbers are unofficial, but it appears that Team Gotta A fired the fastest time ever shot in the history of the program.

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Adam Thomas receives the high senior rimfire title at the SW regional in Texas.

In August, graduating senior Max Rosser traded places with Overstreet to compete in centerfire pistol. Driving the harder-recoiling, harder-to-control 9mm they shot the last match available to them as Seniors — and set another national record! Castro, Thomas, Harris, and Rosser shot a 180.49, unofficially the fastest centerfire time ever shot. (Special thanks to team sponsor Rainier Ballistics, who supplied all the bullets used to win the title. All members of the team reload their own 9mm ammunition, and have come to rely on the Rainier Ballistics 124-grain HP.)

Meanwhile, Team Gotta B (including at various times Z. Coffey, T. Dunn, B. Bird, N. McKay, Z. Swartwood, Jake Overstreet, and Onalee Barrett) won the Oregon State rimfire title, won three high female titles, and placed third at the National Championships! 

Collectively, Team Gotta won:

  • Three State Team Titles (Team Gotta A – 1 senior rimfire title, 1 senior centerfire title, Team Gotta B – 1 junior rimfire title)
  • One State Second Place (Team Gotta B – 2nd junior rimfire)
  • Two State Top Female Trophies (N. McKay, Onalee Barrett)
  • Two State Top Male Trophies (Jordon Castro, Adam Thomas)
  • One Regional Team Title (Team Gotta A, Senior Rimfire)
  • One Regional High Overall, Rimfire (Adam Thomas, Senior Rimfire)
  • One National Team title (Team Gotta A, Senior Rimfire)
  • One National Team third place (Team Gotta B, Senior Rimfire)
  • One National Individual Title, Male (Jordon Castro, Senior Rimfire)
  • One National Individual Title, Female (Onalee Barrett, Senior Rimfire)
  • First, Second, and Third coach/adult at Oregon State (Taylor, Coffey, Tom Swartwood)

 

Rosser, Thomas, and Castro all graduate from high school this year, as will the team’s top female shooter, Onalee Barrett (top female, “Senior Rimfire” at the SPP Nationals).

Together, they’ve made their mark on the SPP program nationally, and secured a range of endowment prizes that will benefit Team Gotta teams to follow.

“We teach ‘legacy thinking’ at Team Gotta,” says Taylor, “and this graduating class took that to heart. They’ve helped forge a team organization that’s technically stronger, better organized, and better-financed than the one they first joined.”

Shooters interested in the team should contact Robin Taylor directly at (360) 391-1551.

 

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