Air Riflery emerges as a “Dark Horse” in competitive high school sports


Staff writer, Rustin Young, works with the Crusader Air Riflery team.

Rustin Young, Staff Writer

When some picture challenging sports, images of football, baseball and basketball come to mind. But Air Riflery? Surprised?  In fact, Air Riflery has emerged as a dark horse in competitive high school sports in recent years.  

Air Riflery isn’t as easy as it seems. In fact, some may say that “all it takes is to simply pull the trigger;” but nothing could be further from the truth.   The shooter needs to take into account possible wind speed and angle adjustments before taking the shot. Every competitor must shoot from three different positions: standing, kneeling and lying down.

Alvin Kalama, as one of the newer members, explains that, “so far in practice, I’m pretty confident.”  When asked about the team’s top performers, Kalama adds, “The best scorer this year and every year is Micah Morita.” Morita is ranked in the top five in ILH Air Riflery.

The Air Riflery team has eleven active competitors and two on the training team. Morita explained that qualifying is ”different from other sports. There are six to seven matches and you only need four matches to qualify.”   The top fifteen competitors of the first four matches then advance to the state championship. 

In Air Riflery, there are two types of rankings, individual and team. During a match each team will have 6 competitors from each team. When finished with shooting the scores from the top four competitors on each team is tallied up, creating the team score. The individual score is the score that a competitor got individually. Teams are Ranked off of Win/Lost records and individuals are ranked on their points. 

Coach Stewart Chun, known to everyone as “Coach Guy” and a 1972 Crusader alumnus, coaches the Air Riflery team.  ”We shoot what’s known as precision airguns,” explains Chun, “which is basically the same as shooting Olympics.” When Air Riflery players graduate from high school, Coach Guy notes that “the majority of them go into engineering.” He added that other air riflery athletes majored in aeronautics, construction and business management and computer science.

Ironically, the Air Riflery team involves so much more than simply shooting a gun. The sport has a lot of moving parts that many don’t realize exist. Air Riflery helps with attention to detail when shooting. Coach Guy explained how Air Riflery helped him when he went into the military and added, ”I was ranked as a top shooter in my boot camp platoon.”  

Air Riflery is a sport that continues to grow at both Saint Louis and other high schools in Hawaii.  With all that the sport has to offer, perhaps we will continue to see students seek out this one-of-a-kind experience as a member of the Crusader Air Riflery team.