Members of the West Potomac rifle team: (kneeling) Harmain Rafi, Jack Apperson, Lindsay Paul, Andy Knight, Mischa Michael, Ian Nakayama, (standing) Matt Karau, Matt Jagg, Celeste Zabowski, Jordan Grafton, DJ Whetzel, Russell Bradley, Jack Wilson and Leonard Paul.
This year’s West Potomac rifle team members DJ Whetzel, Lindsay Paul and Russell Bradley each received All-Metro Honorable Mention recognition for the 2011-2012 rifle season. All-Metro recognition is determined by average league match score during the season. This is the highest number of All-Metro League Awards received by the team in a season.
The West Potomac rifle team completed its seventh season this year since returning to the school. The rifle team competes in the Potomac High School Air Rifle League consisting of 10 school teams from Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. The rifle team is a recognized varsity level sport. The rifle team is also a co-ed sports team. The PHSARL is an extremely competitive league, with several recent national champion teams coming from the league. Many league shooters have also received collegiate scholarships for their shooting skills.
This year’s rifle team was composed of returning seniors Bradley (captain), Matthew Jagg, Harmain Rafi and Whetzel (Captain), returning juniors Mischa Michael and Jack Wilson, and returning sophomores Matthew Karau and Lindsay Paul. The team welcomed five new members for the season: seniors Jordan Grafton and Celeste Zabowski, and freshmen Jack Apperson, Andy Knight and Ian Nakayama.
Match competition consists of 30 shots, with 10 shots each being fired in the prone, standing and kneeling positions. A total individual score of 300 points and a team score of 1,200 is possible. This year’s highlights included a new team-record score of 1,092. Whetzel and Bradley also shot perfect 100 scores in the prone position. This year’s rifle team finished with a 3-6 season. Many of the matches were held on days with other academic events, preventing the entire team from participating.
The rifle team had a strong showing at the regional championships. This is a 60-shot match, with 20 shots being fired in each position and a 600-point individual score and 2,400-point team score possible. The team achieved a fourth-place finish, the highest in school history with a score of 2,162. The team was lead by Paul with a score of 564 and a 10th-place overall finish. Whetzel had a score of 548 and an 18th-place finish. Michael, with a score of 532 and a 33rd-place finish, and Bradley, with a score of 518 and a 44-th place finish, completed the team scores. Individual competitors in the regional match included Rafi (535/29th), Jagg (522/40th) and Zabowski (498/57th).
Rafi (195/10th) had the top prone position score and finish for West Potomac. Paul had the top standing position (179/13th) and kneeling position (192/fifth) scores. Individual shooters receive invitations to compete based on their average season score. This is also the highest number of regional competitors in school history.