Coast Guard will open its 2017-18 season against the Midshipman of Navy at Annapolis on Saturday.
The Bears have taken on an ambitious schedule. In addition to competing in the Mid Atlantic Rifle Conference (MAC) they will face a host of out of conference Division I teams starting with service academies Army, Navy twice and Air Force twice. The University of Kentucky, North Carolina State University, Texas Christian University, The Ohio State University, and the University of Akron fill out the rest of the team's schedule.
Junior returners Melissa Brizzi, Randall Ford, David Rose, Jacob Dupree, Marshall Grant, and sophomore Dylan Lorence are bolstered by experienced freshmen Grayson Wheeler, Seth Strayer, and Hunter Blankenship. New shooters Anthony Contreras, James Hall, and Aidan Uvanni are soon expected to be contributors.
Out of conference competition offers a tremendous challenge to the team which hopes to make serious inroads into the top tiers of the NCAA rifle schools.
The team is stronger than last year's which went undefeated in conference and won the MAC smallbore title in the process. The Bears look to repeat in smallbore as well as pick up Air Rifle this season.
"The strength of our team this season is its renewed focus on strengthening fundamental skills, attention to detail, and mutual support," said Coast Guard head shooting coach Dr. Richard Hawkins. "While the addition of so many D1 schools to the schedule may impact the over-all won-loss statistics, competing against the nation's best can only help improve our program."