Bears Drop Pair at #2 TCU

Grayson Wheeler
Grayson Wheeler
FORT WORTH, TEXAS -- Coast Guard opened its 2018-19 season with a pair of matches on the road against Texas Christian University. Ranked second nationally, the Horned Frogs took two from the Bears.

The first contest saw Coast Guard suffer from a few first match of the year jitters. Sophomores Seth Strayer and Hunter Blankenship both posted 564s to lead the team in Smallbore, A third sophomore, Grayson Wheeler, pitched in with a 560 while freshman Dalton Stoves made his maiden appearance on a Coast Guard roster with a 544. Team captain Marshall Grant and a second freshman, Bryce Sturtz, provided support. In Air Rifle Sturtz righted his ship after some trouble in smallbore and shot a 579 to top the Bears. Strayer put up a 573 as Wheeler added to the team effort with a 564. Blankenship and Grant were knotted at 557 with Blankenship filling in the fourth slot. Stoves was right behind with a 556.

The team totaled a 2232 in Smallbore and a 2273 in Air Rifle for an aggregate score of 4505 to the D1 powerhouse's 4703.

In the second match Blankenship provided the top smallbore score with a 568. Sturtz trailed him by seven points at 561. The Smallbore top four was rounded out by Wheeler, 558, and Strayer, 556. The 2243 was an improvement over day one. Air Rifle saw Sturtz continue to set the standard with a 581. Strayer picked up a few points on his first outing with a 577 as did Wheeler's 566. Stoves was the fourth counter shooting a 'triple nickel', a 555. In a rare event the team shot the same score in Air Rifle both days, a 2273.The second day aggregate was a 4516.

Despite the losses Head Shooting Coach Richard Hawkins stated that "These folks have the talent. We will learn from this match and build upon the experience moving into the season."

The Bears, now 0-2 overall, will next see action in two weeks as they face traditional conference rival MIT in Cambridge, Mass.