Parting Shots: Rifle Seniors Take Aim In Last Collegiate Match

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Melissa Quartarone, one of the five seniors on the Ole Miss rile team
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Melissa Quartarone, one of the five seniors on the Ole Miss rile team
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Feb. 28, 2014

By Austin Miller, OleMissSports.com

The five seniors on the Ole Miss rifle team entered the program together, before the 2010 season, and they will leave together, as they compete in their final collegiate match at the Great American Rifle Conference Championships at their home range this weekend.

Seniors MaryAnn Banks, Rena Goodwin, Melissa Quartarone, Abbey Stanec and Alivia Yeager have grown and matured, individually and collectively, from start to finish during their collegiate careers in the Red and Blue.

“We have grown up together, honestly,” Quartarone said. “It’s been a long four years with each other. Sometimes you’re sick of each other, and then other times you can’t imagine life without them. It’s been really interesting, especially this year. Everyone has developed so much since our freshman year. It’s like we’re practically not the same group.”

While they did not help the Rebels advance to the NCAA Tournament, one of their goals when they entered as freshman, they changed the atmosphere, culture and perception of Ole Miss rifle.

“They made a bigger push for the team aspect,” head coach Valerie Boothe said. “Before, we were always trying to bring along the team part of it, but it’s difficult for an individual sport. The team performance doesn’t have a bearing on what each individual does, but the individual performance does have a direct effect on the total team performance. They focused more on what the team does versus what certain individuals do.”

“We, in a very big way, restored Ole Miss rifle,” Goodwin said. “We came in and redid how everything works here. In a way, we were the new start to Ole Miss rifle. Our biggest goal and how we want to be remembered is being the movement that’s now going to be carried on to the next class.”

Quartarone, a second team All-American her sophomore season, and Stanec, the NCAA Individual Runner-up in air rifle her sophomore season have aspirations of continuing their shooting career at the national level.

For most of them, however, they know it’s going be to their last match, and a lot of their parents will be coming down for the match, which will only add to the emotions of the weekend.

“None of us want to retire early,” Quartarone said. “Conference-wise, we will be done. We can’t take it easy. We have to keep pushing, even if there is that temptation to think of each shot as the last and most important shot. We have to look at it as each one of our shots here has been equally important, and if we set these aside as our most important shots, then we’re doing ourselves a disservice with what we have put in work-wise for the last four years. They need to be just as important as the shots that came before.”

“Each one of them individually has unfinished business, whether that means postseason play, or finishing strong at GARC, or getting that one last good match in,” Boothe said. “They all have something that they need to finalize. They are looking at counting down these last practices and last matches to solidify their spot in Ole Miss rifle history.”

Their legacy, they agreed, is not only the change within the program, but also the impact they have made on the team’s three freshmen — Sarah Emery, Nicolle Thiry and Alison Weisz — who as sophomores next season will be the team’s upperclassmen.

“We have already built it,” said Yeager of their legacy. “When we came into the program, it was completely different than it is now. We have worked for four years to bring the program to a new level, and if the freshmen continue at that same level that we have built up to now, then great things will happen.”

“Our legacy right now is going to be those three freshmen that we have,” Quartarone said. “They’re what we’re be leaving behind. We’re be leaving a bunch of things here, but once we’re gone, we’re gone. There will be remnants of what we did, our attitudes and the scores that we shot, but we’re putting our legacy in the freshmen. If we’re not able to develop them and show them where we failed, and make them succeed where we failed, then we don’t have a legacy. Our legacy isn’t how many All Americans we put or what our scores were; it’s those freshmen, and it’s those people you develop and leave behind.”

The seniors will begin their final competition as Rebels Saturday morning at the Patricia C. Lamar National Guard Readiness Center with smallbore.  The championships conclude Sunday with air rifle. 

Austin Miller is a writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. He joined the staff in June 2013 after serving as sports editor of the Daily Mississippian. Follow him on Twitter @austinkmiller

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Oct. 13-19)

      Monday, October 20, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 13-19, 2014Football- Ole Miss rode its dominant defense to a 34-3 homecoming win over Tennessee on Saturday to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play.- The Rebels are 7-0 for just... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Oct. 19

      Sunday, October 19, 2014 - Athletics

      It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. There was no shortage of observations surrounding the Homecoming festivities this weekend. Let's get into it:1. When "College GameDay" visits Baton Rouge,... read more

    • Winning Formula for Rebels is No Secret

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      The winning formula revealed itself as it has throughout the season: a dominant defense and a mistake-free offense. The Ole Miss defense forced four turnovers, while the Ole Miss offense did not commit a single turnover in a workmanlike 34-3... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-Tennessee Motivational

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs Tennessee Official Team Motivational from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Tennessee

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 3 Ole Miss faces Tennessee for Homecoming on Saturday.'Third Down for What'Tennessee is very dangerous, Ole Miss football head coach Hugh Freeze said, because its talented, particularly if it gets momentum and confidence during... read more

    • SEC Nation Talent Talks Ole Miss on Visit

      Friday, October 17, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from today's media opportunity with SEC Nation host Joe Tessitore and analysts Tim Tebow and Marcus Spears discussing the show's visit to Oxford for the SEC matchup between No. 3 Ole Miss and Tennessee. Tessitore recalls calling the first college... read more

    • What They're Saying: Midseason Honors

      Friday, October 17, 2014 - Football

      At the halfway point of the regular season, Ole Miss is 6-0 for the first time since 1962, when it went 10-0 and earned a share of the national title. It's No. 3 ranking in the national polls is its... read more

    • Rebels Slow Offensive Tempo

      Thursday, October 16, 2014 - Football

      With a dominant defense that ranks among the nation's leaders in most statistical categories, head coach Hugh Freeze acknowledged he has changed his offensive philosophy and play-calling to limit negative plays and quick possessions. Ole Miss averaged the second-most offensive... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 7

      Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 7 - Texas A&M (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Freeze Talks Defense, Tennessee

      Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and Tennessee head coach Butch Jones on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's game in Oxford. For the full SEC teleconference, go here. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze (starts at... read more

    • VIDEO: Studio 18 Live 10.15.14

      Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - Athletics

      read more

    • VIDEO: 'Can't Be Denied' Hype Video

      Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • VIDEO: Bo Wallace on The Dan Patrick Show

      Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Game-Manager Bo

      Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - Football

      Head coach Hugh Freeze admitted the offense played well enough to manage the game and let the defense win it.  Ole Miss leaned on its running game, rushing for 160 yards on 35 carries, while Bo Wallace completed 13-of-19 passes... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Oct. 6-12)

      Monday, October 13, 2014 - Rifle

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 6-12, 2014Football- The No. 3 Ole Miss Rebels showed they belong among the nation's upper crust with a dominating 35-20 win at No. 14 Texas A&M on Saturday.- Ole Miss jumped out to a... read more