Tanzy finds unconventional passion: competitive paintball

After+successfully+ambushing+his+opponent%2C+senior+Lamarco+Tanzy+aims+and+fires+in+a+match.
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Tanzy finds unconventional passion: competitive paintball

After successfully ambushing his opponent, senior Lamarco Tanzy aims and fires in a match.

After successfully ambushing his opponent, senior Lamarco Tanzy aims and fires in a match.

Lamarco Tanzy

After successfully ambushing his opponent, senior Lamarco Tanzy aims and fires in a match.

Lamarco Tanzy

Lamarco Tanzy

After successfully ambushing his opponent, senior Lamarco Tanzy aims and fires in a match.

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Ever since senior Lamarco Tanzy found his passion, he has not been bothered getting shot a few times. Tanzy plays competitive paintball, and has been playing the sport since a friend introduced it to him in 2014.

In competitive paintball, two teams of five compete against each other to score the most points, unlike regular paintball, where the goal is to capture the other team’s flag. To score, one player must touch the other team’s buzzer by advancing to the opponent’s side of the field but avoid being shot and called for penalties. When one is shot, the player must exit the field in order to clean the paint off of themselves. A penalty can be called if a player does not recognize getting hit,consequently removing them  from the game. But competitive paintball isn’t just about winning the match.

“[The goal] is to become a pro. If you are taking paintball serious, you’re actually going to practice, making your own time, doing what you need to do, practicing when you’re not scheduled to practice,” Tanzy said.

Competitive paintball is very rewarding despite the high commitment, expenses and cutthroat competition. There are prizes for winning matches, and in the World Cup 2v2 tournament last year, the two winners received $50,000 each. For Tanzy, money is not the priority.

“[What you get out of paintball is] the fact knowing you worked this hard to get where you are,” Tanzy said. “I just want to beat everybody on the field.”

Although he started playing against his mom’s wishes in 2014, he has no regrets. Tanzy has grown to love the sport, his teammates and even his out-of-state opponents.

“We don’t even really call it ‘friends,’” Tanzy said. “We call it being a family because that’s pretty much how everybody feel like. We all know everybody’s name and we all know everybody’s little brothers and little sisters and everything. So it’s just like one big community.”

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