Tom Sarant shoots, scores commitment


Sarant prepares to shoot.

Katie Cresser, Copy Editor

Thomas Sarant of Massapequa High School’s Rifle team recently lead his team to victory at the New York State regional smallbore rifle championship on March 1. Sarant, one of three co-captains on the team, has already received his appointment to the United States Naval Academy.

Sarant’s recruitment began during his junior year. While most Division I schools require a National Letter of Intent from recruits, the Naval Academy only asks for a verbal commitment.

“I went down to the academy after finals for week,” he said. “Within two weeks of returning, Coach Kelley asked me for a verbal commitment.”

In order to attend any of the United States service academies, applicants must obtain a nomination from either a U.S. Senator, Representative, or the Vice President. They must also pass a physical fitness test.

“Even after committing though, I knew that my admissions process was far from over,” Sarant said.

Although Sarant always knew that he wanted to attend a service academy, his journey to get there was not easy. “The whole recruitment process, when piled on top of my junior year became very stressful,” he said.

Unfortunately, this negatively impacted Sarant’s rifle performance. “Looking back, I could have done a much better job at controlling my mental game of shooting. No shooter will succeed without learning how to stay cool, calm, and collected.”

Sarant’s achievement, which is quite impressive in its own right, gains even more weight when it is put into context. “Before I committed, Coach Kelley told me that he would be recruiting four, maybe five people,” Sarant said.

Most recruiting for rifle takes place at national competitions in which competitors are accepted on an invitation only basis. Additionally, shooters need to be proficient in both smallbore and air rifle.

Despite the grueling application and recruiting process, Sarant is excited to continue his rifle career at the Naval Academy. There is no doubt that he will continue to shine while both competing at the Naval Academy and serving for our country.

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