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It's a family thing

CHAMPLAIN - Of the eight people from the Adirondack Region heading to Buffalo for shooting at the Empire State Games, three of them are members of the Visconti family.

Family patriarch Peter Visconti, who began shooting rifles in 10th grade, said he continued to do so through college, eventually stopping a couple years after that.

"I picked it up again about two years ago," he said. "Two years ago, I shot in the Empire State Games and we got a bronze medal. Our team came in third and I came in fourth, individually."

Then, shortly thereafter, his son Andrew, now 12, took up the sport.

"I just assumed that Andrew was going to want to shoot and he seemed like he had the interest, so we just started shooting," said Peter.

After seeing girls taking part at a state shooting festival last year, Peter's daughter, Betsy, 14, decided she wanted to take on the sport as well.

During Memorial Day weekend, the family tried out to participate in the Empire State Games. Of the 30,000 people who try out to represent their region of New York State, in any sport, only 6,000 make it.

Betsy and Andrew will compete in the scholastic 3-position rifle event. Andrew will also compete alongside his father for the air rifle team.

"I didn't really think that I was going to make it," said Andrew, although he's excited.

Betsy felt the same.

"I was kind of surprised, too. I just started not too long ago," she said.

Peter said he is excited to have his children with him at the games.

"It's great. It's going to be cool," he said. "Because they can continue shooting this even when they become adults or senior citizens. With shooting, you can continue doing it your entire life."

Peter added it's a sport he hopes other people will try as well.

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