Saint Thomas Academy Rifle Team Defeats Top-Seeded Zion Benton NJROTC in First Round of Post-Season

News Date : 12/06/2017

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn., Dec. 6, 2017 – The Saint Thomas Academy rifle team upset the top-seeded Zion Benton NJROTC 1,097 to 1,079 in the single-elimination Orion National Air Rifle League Championship Tournament (box score). Saint Thomas Academy was the eighth seed going into the post-season.

Saint Thomas Academy was led by Seth Olson ’18, who shot his highest score of the season – 281 out of 300. The remaining contributing members were Riley Miller ’18, Jack Kotok ’18, Kaleb Rutgers ’19 and John Copeland ’19.  The team is coached by Chief Warrant Officer 4 Paul Preblich, U.S. Army.

Saint Thomas Academy advances to the semi-final round to take on fourth-seeded Ozark AJROTC from Ozark, Mo. This will be the first meeting between these two teams.

Zion Benton NJROTC of Zion, Ill., finishes the season with a 7-1 record, which includes winning the Navy JROTC Champions Division. This was the team’s third-straight year winning its division in the regular season.

The post-season Championship Tournament is for the top eight teams in the National Air Rifle Sporter League. Sponsored by the Orion Scoring System, the National Air Rifle League is a national team league for high school teams and junior rifle clubs. The league has two parts: an 8-week round-robin regular season, where teams compete for their division's title, followed by the post-season, comprised of two single elimination tournaments. Only the top 16 teams across all divisions advance to the post-season to compete for the league title.

In each match, the teams compete in a Three-Position Air Rifle match. The match is modeled after Olympic rifle competitions but adapted to high school athletes. Each athlete shoots 10 shots in three different shooting positions, prone, standing and kneeling. Each shot is worth a maximum of 10 points. The sum of points scored in the 30 shots is the athlete's total. The team score is comprised of the best four athletes from each team. For more information on the league, including complete standings, visit

About Saint Thomas Academy
Founded in 1885, Saint Thomas Academy is an all-male, college preparatory, Catholic, military/leadership school committed to preparing young men to succeed in college and in life. The Academy challenges its students in grades 6-12 to excel academically, spiritually, morally and physically in and out of the classroom. It is fully accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS); a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the Minnesota Association of Independent Schools (MAIS), and the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States (AMCSUS). For more information, please visit

# # #


Media contact: Amy Nugent, 651.450.9222 or

Back To News Back To Search Results