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    April 26, 2022 Lynchburg, Va. RSS |

    Liberty University’s shotgun team — coming off a repeat second-place Division 3 showing at the March 25-29 ACUI Collegiate Clay Target Championships in San Antonio, Texas — received a commitment last week from a student-athlete who could help the team shoot for a national title in the next few seasons.

    Nate Hagy, who is from Southlake, Texas, on the outskirts of Dallas, traveled to the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio to meet and shoot with the team before visiting Liberty’s campus for the first time with his family last Tuesday. He will bring an impressive resumé to the program this coming fall.

    “Texas is actually a breeding ground for one of the best shooting programs in the country … and he was sought-after by quite a few of the top-ranked schools in the country, so we are very blessed to be able to sign him to the team for next year,” Liberty Head Coach Roger Johnson said, noting that Hagy is currently in first place in his division of the Texas State Shotgun Championships.

    Johnson was glad to be able to show him all that Liberty has to offer.

    “Today was a good day to get the visit, let him see the campus, make sure he knew exactly what he was signing up for, and see the facilities we’ve got here,” Johnson said.

    Hagy grew up shooting rifles and pistols with his uncle, as well as hunting dove and deer out on the range with his family. Over the past six years, he has specialized in shotgun competitions in middle school and high school shooting events, as well as state and national Youth Education in Shooting Sports (YESS) competitions in San Antonio.

    Hagy practices shooting at the Liberty Mountain Gun Club range along with Flames freshman Matthew Daniels. (Photos by Ted Allen)

    He was impressed with the shotgun and sporting clay ranges at the Liberty Mountain Gun Club, where he fired alongside current team members.

    “It’s hard to beat,” he said. “It’s beautiful. The view is amazing, the targets are great. I am extremely excited.”

    Hagy also toured the School of Business, where he plans to pursue his degree before following the lead of his father, Mitch Hagy, a businessman and entrepreneur in automotive, e-sports, and photography. They also visited the LaHaye Recreation & Fitness Center, where his younger sister, Paisley, a competitive rock climber, tried her hand on the Rock Wall.

    But what most appealed to him was the spiritual climate at Liberty.

    “I was looking for colleges that have good shooting programs and Liberty was pretty high on the list, and it’s also conservative and Christian, which is just an added bonus,” he said. “The spiritual aspect of this (school) is extremely appealing and I’m excited for it.”

    Johnson said that was a major consideration in bringing Hagy into the program.

    “We’re not looking for just a great shooter, but somebody that really complements the spiritual emphasis that we have on the team, and he’s going to do that,” Johnson said.

    Hagy said he plans to use the shooting sports as a platform to share his faith.

    “Absolutely,” he said. “God gives me the ability to be out here and do it, so I’m going to do everything to glorify Him.”

    By Ted Allen/Staff Writer