The Simpson College Shooting Sports Team may not be the most known team on campus, but it might be the most welcoming.
I sat down with Coach Scott Moniot to get a better understanding of what this team is really all about… and it’s not what you think.
In early 2016, Scott Moniot was hired as head coach for the Shooting Sports Team.
While there was some hesitancy from some alumni, Coach Moniot says the overall support has been phenomenal.
Me: What kind of culture are you trying to create within the team?
Coach Moniot: “The shotgun sports can be a very unique fit for a lot of individuals and within that fit we’re finding out the culture is totally different within the competitive side of shotgun sports than what is typically perceived in the media.
Me: What were some of the challenges getting to Nationals?
Coach: Well… Taylor Jergeson, a junior chem/physics major had an overwhelming course load that got too crazy and he made the call to stay and focus on his school work, which I am so proud of him for. He made the difficult life choice and made the right call to stay, miss nationals and do focus on his schooling. That’s the side of the story that doesn’t get told, but that’s the side of the story that tells you what kind of kids are on the team. He made the tough, mature choice and I support it 100%.
Me: The college’s article said the team was complimented at Nationals on how they conducted themselves and their demeanor. Can you expand on that a little bit more and what it was that really made them stand out from other teams?
Coach Monoit: The most exciting part of the journey was being complimented at Nationals. During the shooting sporting clays event(which is about a half mile course) the pullers(who hit the button to release the target) were sitting in the heat. After the team had shot, they would shake the hand of the puller and thank them, all the way through the course. A woman called us back and said to me our kids just have the best attitudes, helping each other and encouraging each other. Those are some of the things we’re trying to instill in the team from the get go, is just being thoughtful and realize that other people are making this happen for you. To be courteous ad mindful that there are a lot of thankless jobs out there, but it someone wasn’t doing it, it wouldn’t be possible for us to reap the benefits of it. Those are some of the things we talk about in practice and we don’t just talk about it… we do it.
Another great story of the incredible character of the team began on the Friday of Nationals: the team was awarded third place. After the excitement and celebration Friday night, Saturday morning Coach looked through the scores online.
It showed that the team was actually in fourth place.
He went to talk to the head of the ACUI and they said they knew there was a mistake and told him not to worry about it.
Coach wanted the kids to bring the awards back but the ACUI insisted they keep them and that they would order new awards for the other team.
Coach said, “Okay, let me go talk to the kids and see what they want to do.” So he went back to the van and told the team what had happened. “Before I even had to say another word, they decided the awards had to go back right away for the deserving team. As a whole team, they walked in and returned it all without a second thought.”
Later that day the ACUI flagged down Coach and the team and thanked them. She was amazed how graciously the team had returned the medals and trophy.
That was also the day the team won the International Trap Championship. Maybe what goes around, comes around?
I got the chance to record a podcast episode with Maddy Bernau and Patrick Long-Quian in the studio about there experiences on the Simpson’s Shooting Sports Team.
Listen to the podcast below!
*This was a story for my Journalism 2.0 class at Simpson College. Originally posted April 27, 2017.