South Tahoe Explorers bring home awards |

South Tahoe Explorers bring home awards

T. W. Bowman

When it comes to police Explorer competitions, South Tahoe is second to none.

The South Tahoe Explorers brought home nine awards, three individual and six team trophies, from a regional police Explorers competition Jan. 13-14 in Chandler, Ariz. The program, sponsored by the Boy Scouts, is open to boys and girls from high school age through 20.

The event included more than 300 Explorers from five states. Nathan Coats brought home two individual awards, with a first place finish in the beam target shooting and a second place finish in the three mile run. Keeping the right frame of mind is a key objective for Coats and his teammates when going into a competition.

“Mostly, when I go into it I think of what I can do and I focus on that, ” Coats said. “When we get done with the competition I ask myself if I did the best I could.”

While concentration is key, it is only part of the Explorers equation for success. Both physical fitness and self-confidence are critical for the team to perform at the competitions.

“We have guys who never worked out, and now they do and it builds their self-confidence,” said Explorer Eddie Shepard.

It is also critical that the Explorers simulate police situations in their training. Many of the competition events deal with problems ranging from domestic violence to hostage scenarios. The Explorers must be familiar with basic police procedure to properly address each.

“A lot of the training emphasis is on officer safety because the competitions have a lot to do with that,” said Shepard. “Watching where we are pointing our guns and whether our fingers are on the trigger.”

The work the South Tahoe Explorers put into preparation has given them a reputation as a team to be reckoned with at the explorer competitions.

“People come up to us (at competitions) and ask if we got the truck to bring home all the trophies,” Coats said.

The Explorers credit their success to hard work and taking nothing for granted.

“It feels good to know that after all the training was done we brought home all the trophies,” Shepard said. “After all the hours we put into it, it was worth it.”

While the South Tahoe only sent seven Explorers to the latest competition, those who competed are quick to share the credit for their success with the whole team.

“Only seven went, but there are are 19 of us when we train and it is really all of our trophies,” said Explorer Travis Lambert.

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