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Extracurriculars Not Limited to School

By McKenna Thomas/Junior Writer

Shooting sports are gaining popularity in the United States and high school students who participate can improve more than their aim. Competitive shooting teaches sportsmanship, gun safety and respect for firearms.

The ‘Nelson Padilla 6 Pack’ is a local competitive shooting team (members are from Blue Ridge School District and Susquehanna Community School District) formed in August 2022.

Initially, the team’s name was ‘6 Pack’ because there were six members, but in honor of Nelson Padilla, an eleven-year-old team member who tragically passed away in a car accident, the team name was officially changed to the ‘Nelson Padilla 6 Pack.’

Team Members

Today the team members include myself, Brendan Bibik, Reagan Thomas, Isaiah Padilla, Abagail Johnson, and Coach, Gilberto Padilla. As a competitive steel shooting team, we have traveled to multiple states across the Eastern U.S.

Photo Taken by: Unknown
The Nelson Padilla 6 Pack and more shooters

National Championship at the Cardinal Shooting Center

On July 10, 2023 the team shot at the National Championship in Ohio at the Cardinal Shooting Center and my sister I were chosen to be on the PA All-State Team. She was one of the four in the state of Pennsylvania. I placed twenty-ninth out of one-hundred and fifty-seven in the Rimfire Rifle Optics (RFRO) division and my sister, Reagan Thomas, placed one-hundred and thirty-seventh in her division.

The Gun Divisions

There are multiple gun divisions, the rifles, which include, Rimfire Rifle Iron (RFRI) and RFRO. The pistols, Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC), Rimfire Pistol Optic (RFPO), and Rimfire Pistol Iron (RFPI). There are seven stages with five targets on each. There are ‘Focus’, ‘Go Fast!’, ‘Speed Trap’, ‘In & Out’, ‘Exclamation’, ‘M’, and ‘V For V’.

The team starts up around April and goes till October, but shooting never really stops.

Anyone who is interested in joining the team can contact my coach, Gilberto Padilla, through Facebook messenger.

Click here to learn more about shooting competitions in Pennsylvania:

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McKenna Thomas
McKenna Thomas
McKenna Thomas is a junior at Blue Ridge High School where she is in multiple clubs including, Science Club, Leo Club, and Geocaching. Outside of school she participates in a .22 Speed Shooting Team, and an archery team. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, especially her dog Willo. 
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