Altus FFA shooting team shares secret to success

ALTUS, OK (KSWO) -The six time Oklahoma Scholastic Shooting Sports State champions are sharing their secrets to success.

They say lots of practice, dedication and teamwork are the reasons they take home the trophy each year. But, it's the life lessons the sport has taught them that they say they'll cherish the most.

Five years ago, Erin Waldroop had never even held a shotgun.

"The first time I ever shot a shotgun was right over there," said Waldroop, a senior student. "I had never held one before or anything."

Now, after five years on the shooting team and she's leaving behind a legacy.

"Six state championships is a big deal," said Waldroop. "You don't get the chance to say that everyday"

She says learning how to fail and succeed together is what makes their team mesh so well.

"The team has become like a second family to me," said Waldroop. "Lot of people have come and gone but all of the coaches and advisers have stayed the same. They've helped out a lot and not just with the shooting part, but they've given us some good life lessons in general."

The support from the school and community also plays a major role in their success.

"The people we have working with us," said Bruce Farquhar, the shooting teams coach. "Parents, Lawrence Wilks who owns the range here. He's always been supportive of us. The community as a whole. We couldn't do it without that support."

To the students interested in joining the team next year, the seniors advice is...

"Stick with it," said Waldroop. "Practice. Practice makes perfect."

"Don't be intimidated," said Kody King, senior student. "When you come out here, you'll see a lot of people shooting really good, but nobody started perfect. Just practice. Practice, practice, practice. Just come out and have fun with us. We like to have a lot of fun."

In addition to winning state the past few years, the FFA team has won more than 60 thousand dollars through the MidwayUSA Foundation and the Oklahoma Scholastic Shooting Sports program. That money goes to support the Altus shooting team.

Copyright 2018 KSWO. All rights reserved.