Fresno Christian High School
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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Paintball competition challenges freshmen

Students’ after-school lives often include many extra-curricular activities such as band or a sport. Freshmen Trenton Fleck and Cooper Belmont have forgone run-of-the-mill hobbies to participate in a competitive paintball league.

Belmont began playing paintball at age 9, the same as Fleck, but the two had not been introduced. Now they play together competitively on the team ‘RIP.’

Fleck found the sport while participating in a game at Blackbeards. The experience motivated him to find more ways to involve himself in paintball.

“I could always imagine myself playing,” Fleck said. “I was at Wal-Mart with my mom, looking at the cheapest paintball gun package. I asked her if I could get it just to shoot at targets and she let me.”

Paintball teams include seven people each and compete in five tournaments per season. A referee begins the game with the blow of a whistle and the players hide behind several different obstacles. A player shoots at the opposing team (the mark) and the game continues until one team is eliminated and the flag is retrieved.

Fleck initially considered paintball a casual pastime. When he met Belmont at school, the two became friends and Fleck’s recreational activity changed to a competitive team battle.

“He told me that he played on Fresno Invasion and I played the last tournament of that season with them,? Fleck said. ?Then close to the end of seventh grade, Fresno Invasion broke up and Cooper and I decided to go play for a team called Team RIP who played for its own store [Maximum Paintball Supply], which is located on Blackstone.”

Before recruiting Fleck to the team, Belmont was introduced to the sport by a family friend. He continued to play occasionally and then competitively.

“Vince Cabias [’09] got me interested in paintball when I went over to his house one day and he had a paintball gun himself,” Belmont said. “I bought a cheap one and we played in his backyard. It pretty much went on from there and I played as much as I could.”

Team positions include mid, front and back. Front players, such as Fleck, are often small and fast and act as decoys for the other team. Their main goal is to avoid the other teams? shots.

Belmont and Fleck’s team finished eighth out of 70 in its paintball division. The league is called Extreme Paintball Sports League (XPSL).

“The reason I keep playing is because of the big tournaments that I get to compete in, because I am definitely a competitor,” Belmont said. “What really influences me is the ‘team’ idea because I really want our team to be the best.”

By becoming teamates, both say they have learned to work together and try their hardest.

“Someday I would like to become a paintball coach,” Fleck said. “Maybe in five or six years I would like to become pro.”

Despite conflict with other activities, Belmont hopes to continue the pastime for many more years.

“My goal is just to be the best I can be for myself and my team,” Belmont said. “It is pretty hard because I already play baseball and basketball, so those tend to get in the way. I hope I play for as long as I can.”

For more information on freshman activities, check out Parade of beasts.

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