An East Tennessee coach is on target to create the area's first pistol team.
According to the future coach Matt Hall, there are fewer than 50 competitive handgun teams in the U.S., with the next one soon to be at William Blount and Heritage High Schools.
"My first year, we had 13 kids on the (shooting) team. And this year, we have 63 kids," Hall said.
The growing interest of the William Blount shooting team was a big reason why Coach Hall started the pistol team. Instead of using long rifles and clay disks, participants will be using Glock pistols and metal targets.
"A buzzer goes off and they fire on five targets for time. They do that five times in a row and throw out the highest time," Hill explained the rules.
Developed by the nationwide Scholastic Pistol Program, there was some concern at first over whether teenagers can properly use these weapons without accidental misfire. Hall said the team will go through rigorous training with smaller, more fragile firearms before they even hit the firing range.
"We're also developing a pistol safety course based on a number of pistol safety classes including the NRA to give the kids, before they're allowed to come out on the range and use a pistol," Hall said.
Just like the shooting team, the pistol team will not be allowed to bring the guns on school grounds.
"We have a lot to work out before we can pull the trigger."