Monday, November 12, 2012

University students create organization to play airsoft

Jacob Werner discovered airsoft in sixth grade, started playing and one by one, his friends joined and started playing also.

When Werner, a sophomore, and his friends enrolled in the University in the fall of 2011, they wanted to take their love of playing airsoft with them to college and started The Screaming Falcons the summer before attending.

"We hadn’t heard of other campuses with an airsoft group, but we grew up playing together so we thought this would be an opportunity for us to play in bigger events," said Chris Wegman, University sophomore and secretary for the group.

The Screaming Falcons started with 10 members, but used Campus Fest last year and this year to recruit new members. The group now consists of about 30 members.

"We know a lot of people play in their backyards, so we just want to consolidate that and get them to play with us," Werner said.

The Screaming Falcons took their name from the 101st Airborne Division, known as the Screaming Eagles, an air assault unit, Werner said.

"We play airsoft purely for sport, but our name is sort of for our admiration for the military," Werner, president of the group, said.

University sophomore and vice president of the group Nick Rafferty said airsoft is similar to paintball with the type of game play, but a more realistic version.

Two or more teams will play for a common objective, such as capture the flag or take out a team, but the main difference between the games is the realistic sense, Rafferty said.

"Airsoft guns don’t fire paint; they fire plastic pellets, which makes it more realistic," Rafferty said.

Werner said that this led to him playing airsoft in the first place.

"My brother was really into paintball, but the guns weren’t cool enough, so I played airsoft instead," Werner said.

University sophomore and treasurer of the group Jacob Feeney said he was in seventh grade when he first picked up an airsoft gun.

"I figured my best friend is playing, so I should start too," Feeney said.

Feeney said that he has continued playing just because he enjoys the overall experience.

"I like it because I’m out there all day with buddies and we get to joke around, but we have to be serious at times too," Feeney said.

Werner said he enjoys playing airsoft mainly because of the friends and camaraderie, but also for the reenactment part of it and the fact that it’s an active sport.

"You get an adrenaline rush that you don’t get when you play video games," Wegman said.

Rafferty also said that he gets an adrenaline rush when playing airsoft and just enjoys going out with his friends to play.

"It gives me something to do on the weekend and it’s fun to play as a team," Rafferty said. "I’ve played paintball before and it turns out that we never play well as a team, but with airsoft we do."

Werner said his favorite part of playing airsoft comes from the team aspect of the game.

"Working with people can really influence the game," Werner said. "One person can influence the game, but not as well as a group working together."

The Screaming Falcons meet every other Thursday night in Business Administration 1009 from 7 to 9 p.m. to discuss upcoming events.

The group usually plays two or three times a month when at least five members are available to play.

Any student can join The Screaming Falcons by going to one of the meetings or by contacting one of the officers of the group. The only requirement the team has is that members have goggles with full seal eye protection for safety reasons and the other gear, the team will help members find or loan their own.

"We’re always looking for new members," Werner said. "If you have anything or have nothing, we can incorporate you in as a team and help you out. It’s all about having fun."


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