All About The Wofford College Rifle Team

Two decades ago, Wofford College’s rifle program made its debut as an NCAA sport.

by
posted on February 28, 2023
Woffordshootingteam 1
The Wofford College rifle team (l.-r.): Isabella Timmons, Garrett Dall, Jessy Delgado, Ansely-Brooke Springer and Charlie Yang.
Wofford College

Below is an excerpt from a question-and-answer session with coaches and athletes from the Wofford College rifle team. The article was shared by the CMP.

Q&A with Coaches and Athletes: Wofford College

Wofford College is a private liberal arts college in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Rifle was a varsity sport at Wofford at various points between 1930 to 1960. These teams were primarily part of the ROTC program and were at the strongest in the years immediately before and after World War II. Rifle resurfaced for a short time in the 1980s, and by 2003, rifle was offered at Wofford as an NCAA Division I sport. Addtionally, the Wofford rifle team was a member of the SEARC, until the Southern Conference began sponsoring rifle in the 2016-2017 season.

COLLEGE COACH QUESTIONS

Name: Seth Flanagan
Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Were you a competitor before coaching? If yes, what were some of your accomplishments? If no, how did you become a college coach for rifle? What are your academic accomplishments?

My first experience shooting was with my grandfather at the local trap and skeet club. From there, I was introduced to precision shooting in high school. I didn’t plan on playing any sports in college, and I was accepted to Wofford and paid my deposit before I learned about the rifle program. I accidentally met the rifle coach, Randy Hall, when I stopped and asked for directions. As a competitor, I was the team captain for two years and worked hard to advocate for our team and shooting sports. Also, I was on the college and Southern Conference honor roll.

Favorite reason for coaching?

I enjoy coaching the most because it allows me to teach people the sport I love so much. I love the “a-ha” moments. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing something “click” for an athlete.

What is a day as one of your athletes like? What is your biggest challenge as a coach?

My athletes work hard. None of them choose the easy way out. They challenge themselves academically, outside the classroom, and on the range. They are leaders on our campus and in the community.

In the range, we do drills, position work, inter-team competitions, etc. Additionally, our team has a regular workout regimen they do with our strength and conditioning department. They also work with our counseling staff to help with their mental health. So much of our sport relies on a healthy mindset, so this part of our training is essential.

One thing they never tell you as a coach is how many hats you wear. It’s all in good fun, though. On a more serious note, rifle is a relatively small sport within collegiate athletics, and consequently, it is not as widely known as football or basketball. Ensuring that people know that your institution has a rifle team is essential. I cannot tell you how many times a week I hear, “I had no clue Wofford had a rifle team ...”

Any advice for junior competitors wanting to compete in college, and for college athletes and graduating college seniors?

For competitors just getting into the sport, I encourage you to work hard and keep your head up. Don’t let low scores get you down. This sport is not easy, and anyone who suggests otherwise has never done this before. Scores will follow if you, as a competitor, do the work.

For college athletes, focus on mastering your shot process versus chasing a perfect score. In a sport where a “perfect” score is technically possible and the level of competition is so high, it is hard not to let scores become your primary focus. Good scores are important, but you must do your part to attain them.

For graduating seniors, take the world by storm. Know your worth, and never let anyone treat you any differently.

Anything you’d like to add?

In the gun community, there are not many people of color, and that number gets much smaller in the world of precision shooting. I want the world to see that someone who looks like me can do this sport.

I still compete, although not as much as I would like. It’s incredible how much time I spend on a shooting range yet shoot so little myself. My goal this year is to get back into smallbore and service rifle shooting.


COLLEGE ATHLETE QUESTIONS

Name: Jessy Delgado
Hometown Team: Passaic, N.J., (hometown), Broome High School shooting team

What is your major and why? Favorite class?

My major is Spanish and Studio art, with a minor in economics. My favorite class is sculpture because I can positively express myself. I choose those majors because I am part of a design team at the restaurant where I work and also help with the business side, where economics comes into play.

Outside of rifle, are you part of any other organizations or clubs?

I play soccer on two club teams, participate in CrossFit and Religious youth organizations.

How old were you when you got involved in rifle?

I was 15 when I started but took a few years off when our coach left. I started again when I was 18.

Favorite rifle (air rifle vs .22 LR) and stage (kneeling, prone, standing)?

I love air rifle because all your focus is on one position. I also love .22 LR standing because it takes a different level of knowledge and patience to understand.

What do you do outside of rifle to train and better yourself (workout, meditate, etc.)?

I do CrossFit four times a week and calisthenics because it helps keep me in shape.

Future plans and goals for rifle and life?

I hope one day to coach rifle and help others in any way I can. I hope to teach people that rifle isn’t a sport to be feared but rather is just like any other sport that requires strength, patience, willpower and practice.


Name: Garett Dall
Hometown Team: Leavenworth High School JROTC Rifle Team, Wyandotte County 4-H Rifle Team

What is your major? Why? Favorite class?

My major is Biology and I am on the Pre-Med track. This is because I have a passion for biology, and I want to be a trauma surgeon in the Army.

Outside of rifle, are you part of any other organizations or clubs?

Outside of rifle, I am part of the ROTC program at Wofford College.

How old were you when you got involved in rifle?

I was 10 years old when I first started shooting rifle.

Favorite rifle (air rifle vs .22 LR) and stage (kneeling, prone, standing)?

My favorite discipline is smallbore rifle with kneeling being my favorite position.

What do you do outside of rifle to train and better yourself (workout, meditate, etc.)?

Outside of rifle, I try to get a cardio workout in every other day, I stretch and meditate daily, and I read books to further extend my knowledge of the sport.

Future plans and goals for rifle and life?

Depending on how rifle goes in college, I would like to try out for the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit or Team USA. If that doesn’t work out, I will still compete regularly whenever I get the chance in 3-Position smallbore, air and other types of shooting.


Name: Isabella Timmons
Hometown/Junior Team: I started my rifle journey at Hartsville High School, S.C., as part of their JROTC program coached by Lt. Col. Darryl Tumbleson.

What is your major? Why? Favorite class? 

I am a Mathematics major with minors in Philosophy and Studio Art. I chose to major in math because it has connections and applications to all other areas of study. Admittedly, though, my favorite classes at Wofford have been two philosophy classes: Feminist Philosophy and Gender, Race and Science.

Outside of rifle, are you part of any other organizations or clubs?

Outside of rifle, I am part of Wofford Vegans and Vegetarians and Wofford Weightlifting Club.

How old were you when you got involved in rifle?

I was about 16 when I got involved in rifle.

Favorite rifle (air rifle vs .22 LR) and stage (kneeling, prone, standing)?

My favorite stage to shoot is prone with the smallbore .22 LR rifle.

What do you do outside of rifle to train and better yourself (workout, meditate, etc.)? 

Since diet can determine mental and physical endurance, being aware of what I eat is the most important aspect of preparing my body for the sport. In addition to diet, the team also participates in regular physical training sessions created and instructed by Wofford’s Athletic Department. Personally, I have also found that mediation and yoga are beneficial in developing a calm mindset, creating awareness of the body and building balance in position.

Future plans and goals for rifle and life?

I hope to continue my journey in academia by continuing my education after graduation.


Name: Ansely-Brooke Springer
Hometown: Batesburg-Leesville, S.C.

What is your major? Why? Favorite class?

I am a biology major on the pre-med track. I have always known that I wanted to go into the medical field, and I enjoy science, so biology was an easy choice for me. My favorite class so far has been Genetics.

How old were you when you got involved in rifle?

I did not start competitive rifle until last year as a true freshman at Wofford College. I have been shooting long range as a hobby since I was about eight.

Outside of rifle, are you part of any other organizations or clubs?

Outside of rifle, I serve on the executive board for Wofford College SAAC (Student Athlete Advisory Committee). Also, I am co-chief photographer on the yearbook staff at Wofford, and I attend a couple Christian groups as well.

Favorite rifle (air rifle vs .22 LR) and stage (kneeling, prone, standing)?

My favorite rifle to shoot is the air rifle. It just comes more naturally to me, and it is more satisfying to shoot than stressful. As far as .22 LR, my favorite smallbore position is standing because I feel like I have the most control in that position.

What do you do outside of rifle to train and better yourself (workout, meditate, etc.)?

The Wofford athletic training staff guides the team through our workouts each week for strength training. Personally, I must focus on balancing sleep and schoolwork every week because lack of sleep is detrimental to success in the range.

Future plans and goals for rifle and life?

I plan to continue competing on the rifle team as I work on my biology degree. I really enjoy rifle and it has become a sport that I share with my family on the weekends when I go home.

Anything you’d like to add?

The Wofford rifle team members and coach have become family to me. I was not on a formal rifle team before college, so to have been taken in and constantly backed and supported by the rifle community has been an incredible experience for me.


Name: Charlie Yang
Hometown: Moore, Spartanburg, S.C.

What is your major? Why? Favorite class?

Psychology and Sociology/Anthropology. I enjoy looking into the human mind and understanding an individual’s identity shaped by their experiences and background. In addition, I want to advocate for mental health equity for the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People Of Color) community as the BIPOC community is statistically less likely to ask for help or know of help relating to mental wellness. My favorite class this semester is Gender Identity in Society.

Outside of rifle, are you part of any other organizations or clubs?

Yes, I am involved with a variety of organizations, including WAAPI, Bonners Scholars, Gateway Scholars, Mu Beta Psi, Black Student Alliance and Wofford Women of Color.

How old were you when you got involved in rifle?

I was 19 years old when I started.

Favorite rifle (air rifle vs .22 LR) and stage (kneeling, prone, standing)?

Air Rifle, Standing are my favorites.

What do you do outside of rifle to train and better yourself (workout, meditate, etc.)?

Outside of rifle, I do digital art to better myself and express myself internally. In addition, I do meditation to help me reflect and relax at the end of the week. Both are very calming activities to let out my internalized energy.

Future plans and goals for rifle and life?

Overall, I wish to continue growing and developing every day. I hope to improve my rifle skills and continue growing my knowledge of the sport. I want to be able to see my consistency and steady growth—but also my lows and highs. I wish to continue this sport until the end of college. Rifle has also grown to be an outlet for relaxation. It started off as a sport of interest and an activity I could dedicate my time to as it would be a change of pace in my daily life. My plan for the future is to complete my degree and go into certification programs before heading to graduate school. I want to be a Forensic Psychiatrist specializing in children, specifically BIPOC children.

Anything you’d like to add?

No matter what happens in your life, day or class—just look forward to the littlest thing to keep going.

Learn more about the Wofford College rifle team and CMP.

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