more than national champions: Simpson College's shooting sports team


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.

student-athletes at Simpson College talk about life as a multi-sport athlete

Playing multiple NCAA sports does not happen often at any level, but Simpson College gives this opportunity to many of its student-athletes.

It is hard competing in one sport, let alone two or three while pursuing a college degree.

Six multi-sport athletes sat down with me to talk about what their college experience is like juggling multiple NCAA sports, intramurals, clubs, social lives and of course, a college education.

While some said it is stressful, some want to do even more, but one thing they all agreed on: it is worth it.

More on the athletes:

Alyssa Mathews started her freshman year of college in volleyball season playing varsity setter and is currently in softball season, playing short stop and second base. In between NCAA sports, Mathews plays intramural basketball. She says her family and friends help her manage it all and know that volleyball and softball are important to her. He family supports her, not just by coming to games, but by making sure she is doing good in school too. As well as being an athlete, Mathews is a math major.

Hattie Liechty came to college planning to play volleyball for the college. What she was not expecting was to end up on the softball team and club rugby team too. She started playing softball earlier this year as a sophomore and has been playing volleyball and rugby since her freshman year. Liechty says her key to keeping everything together is simple: a planner. Taking things one day at a time and communicating with the coaches makes it easy. Liechty is a physical education major and coaching minor. Her advice to those thinking about playing multiple sports in college: Just do it.

Madison Endsley is a junior transfer student who plays volleyball and basketball. She is also a member of FCA, the Fellow Christian Athletes at Simpson. Unlike some multi-sport athletes, Endsley’s sports’ seasons overlap, causing her to miss out on the beginning of basketball season. She says it is not that hard because her coaches really work with her. Endsley played both sports at her previous junior college and has learned how to manage her academic and social lives while still pursuing an elementary education degree.

Simpson College junior Braden Meints is in his third year of spring training for football. Just this past indoor track season, Meints started throwing the shot put, hammer, and javelin for the Simpson College Track and Field team. For Meints, playing multiple sports has helped him make friends from all across the country. He is also a part of Best Buddies, “a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.” Meints is studying physical education with a minor in coaching.

Chase Wetterling did not plan on competing collegiately in track and now in just his sophomore year, he is an All-American. Wetterling originally decided to attend Simpson and play football. It was not until after freshman year football season he thought about track. He went to Track and Field Head Coach Cleveland, who told Chase he always knew he would go out. This past indoor season, Wetterling with Travis Tupper, Jordan Coughenour and Kirk Wick ran a 3:19.98 in the 4x400 meter race to place 7th at the 2017 NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships. Wetterling says he gets nothing but support from his family, coaches, teammates, and professors while balancing his athletic pursuits and criminal justice degree.

Sam Adeniyi is in his first year of college, studying computer science and competing in football and track and field. Adeniyi is also in computer science club and Light Company which is a church service for college students. It is an extension off of SALT company that allowed Adeniyi to participate in a mission trip to Florida over Spring break. Adeniyi likes to be active and when he was given time off between sports seasons, he cut it short and just go ahead and jump in. His advice to others thinking about competing in multiple sports is to come in with an open mind and to remember that even though college play is more competitive, it is okay to have fun!



*This was a story for my Journalism 2.0 class at Simpson College. Originally posted March 31, 2017.