CENTRAL SQUARE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — On February 14, 2023, the Central Square Rifle team won the Section III title and the seven who competed are all girls.
This is the first time ever the school district has had an all-girls team compete for a sectional title.
Mea Coppola is a junior at Central Square High School and one of the team captains. She told NewsChannel 9 she never thought she would be interested in being on the team.
“Actually it was covid year and my parents made me play four sports,” Coppola said. “So it was between this and bowling and I wanted to try this out and I loved it the minute I stepped in here.”
They practice for two hours almost every day. Coppola says she’s very close with her teammates.
“These girls, they mean a lot to me. We all are part of a team, we work together we help each other out.”
Their coach, Paul Menjik, has been coaching the rifle team for 58 years. Coppola said he’s the reason why they’re all so close.
“He’s like the glue to us, he keeps us all together.”
She said he cracks jokes and gets them laughing all the time. Menjik said his team this year is much different compared to another.
“You saw it, they come in wearing Levi’s with all those cuts around the knees, said Menjik, who added that the boys never did that.
Aside from the ripped jeans, this team brings a different skill set.
“Definitely a lot of characters on the team, but they understand the focus, where ever you are be all there,” said Menjik.
They’re also being taught life lessons.
“They have respect for each other and respect for the equipment that we’re using,” said Menjik.
The team competes in the state championships on March 11 in Lancaster, N.Y.