People of Lafayette: senior takes part in unique sport


photo courtesy of Riley Powell

The people on senior Riley Powell’s team pose with their national awards in July of 2022. “Top five win a medal or trophy at nationals,” Powell said.

Julia Morris

After discovering their skills in shooting in March 2021, senior Riley Powell decided to join Team Henges, a competitive shooting team.

Powell first shot in front of a middle school shooting coach and he recognized her talent.

“I went and talked to a team and practiced with them. They also said I was really good and I had fun,” Powell said. 

Team Henges is based in Eureka and most competitions are held in Illinois. Powell travels to competitions every Saturday of the season with the team. The goal of the game is to hit a cardboard target. 

“Groups of five will shoot at a time and their combined score along with each individuals score is ranked,” Powell said. 

Powell has built relationships through her experiences in shooting competitively.

“I made some friends on the team, and I found a little community,” they said.

Competitive shooting required a lot of commitment, on Powell’s part.

“I’ve always liked sports, but I had to quit all of my other sports so shooting became my main sport,” Powell said.

Once Powell was on the team, they quickly realized their love for the sport and cracked the code to winning competition after competition.

“It didn’t require me to run or anything, I could just stand there. It was a mental game,” they said.

Winning competitions is nothing new to Powell since joining Team Henges. Ever since their first season, Powell has been determined to win.

“There were two competitions in a row where I scored a 24/25, and I was so mad. I’d been wanting a perfect 25 forever,” Powell said.

It was Powell’s third competition, and after going over numerous game plans and strategies with coaches, Powell achieved the perfect score they had been training for.

“I came up with a strategy with my coaches, and I got my first 25 in competition and I got a little patch. When I walked off the field, I was sobbing because I was so proud of myself,” they said.