The East Stroudsburg Area School Board voted unanimously last night to end a program where East Stroudsburg South’s rifle team shares their range with Stroudsburg’s rifle team after members of the South rifle team and their supporters made the request.
East Stroudsburg South’s rifle team currently shares their range with Stroudsburg’s rifle team. However, many believe the team’s performance has dropped due to their hospitality. Stroudsburg was forced out of its range several years ago after being damaged during separate school renovations. They were temporarily paying to practice at Pocono Pistol Club in Stroudsburg, but as those costs became too high, they asked for permission to use South’s range for practice and matches. Several teammates, their coach, and a few others asked why their team was forced to sacrifice and how the school could treat their champion team that way.
Jay Armitage, Head Coach for the Cavaliers rifle team, respectfully asked the board to decline Stroudsburg’s request to use its range for its third season. He says he is friends with Stroudsburg’s head coach, but he feels it leaves the Cavaliers neglected. Teammates have long expressed concerns about sharing their range. According to Armitage, East Stroudsburg was ranked first in its division before lending its facility. The first year that Stroudsburg came on board, they dropped to second. Last year the team struggled for third. It was their worst showing in 6 years.
Sabastian Babon, a junior on the rifle team, listed a few of his teammates’ concerns. South is forced to vacate their own range by 5:45 PM so that Stroudsburg’s team can use it. Coaches previously waited until after practice to perform certain duties. Now they end slightly earlier so they can wrap up on time, denying the team their full session. It has also prevented the team from hanging instruction posters and signs to encourage them. Which several veteran shooters believe puts newer teammates, in particular, at a disadvantage. “It’s basically giving them a guidebook on how to beat us,” Babon said.
Stroudsburg schedules their home competitions on days the East Stroudsburg has away matches. However, whenever games are canceled due to lack of transportation or any other reasons, the South team has nowhere to fall back on. The team has missed multiple matches this season due to transportation issues.
East Stroudsburg’s rifle team has gone to State Finals for the past ten years and is currently undefeated and ranked 2nd in the league. Several of their shooters are ranked top in the state, with multiple recent graduates joining the United States Armed Forces.
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