The 2000-01 Ohio State rifle team is potentially the best looking team the Buckeyes has put to the line in over a decade.
“We have as strong a schedule as any university in the country,” Pat Cherry, Ohio State head coach, said. “Therefore we will test ourselves with the best from the first match to the last. Although we will be a young team we will build and learn week by week.”
OSU has not won a National Rifle Championship since 1931 which indicates how hard it is to win. Also since the top-20 or so schools are mostly scholarship it is a hard game to dominate without scholarships.
“But every so often a group of good shooters with a desire for a quality education comes along to us, “Cherry said. “This looks like one of those times.”
“Everyone on this team has something to give. We should jell into a strong team,” Cherry said.
Three shooters return from the squad last season. They include Jes Antolik, Ross Brown and Levi Kill. Most notable of the three is Brown, a senior, who was a second team All-Western Intercollegiate Rifle Conference selection last season. Antolik, a senior, is a former WIRC individual champion and Kill, a sophomore, was the 1999 Ohio Junior High Power Rifle Champion.
Seven newcomers join the squad this season. Junior Min Chang and sophomore Abhijeet Konduskar add an international aspect to the team. Chang attended high school in Alaska, coming to the United States from Korea in 1993. Konduskar has won numerous awards and championships from his native country of India.
Five freshmen will for the base for future teams. Rebecca Dean earned a spot on the U.S. Randle team and shot in the U.S. Olympic tryouts. Jennifer Kent is another shooter with numerous awards and championship. She also participated in the U.S. Olympic tryouts. Jonathon Nicolazzo made his mark in the Empire State Games (New York) while Jessica Sears is a California State Junior Champion. John Stellwag has competed in numerous championships and is a NRA certified instructor.
“All in all I think this is the beginning of several good years for OSU shooting,” Cherry said.