Katie Higgins / Lantern photographer
The Ohio State men’s rifle team used a YouTube video as inspiration for their act and added a few twists of their own to defeat eight other teams and win the sixth annual Buckeyes Got Talent event Tuesday night at St. John Arena to raise more than $6,000 for charity.
Maxwell Snyderman, redshirt sophomore and member of the rifle team, said the idea for their act came from a YouTube video titled, “Matrix Ping Pong.” Team members played a simulated game of pingpong while performing various stunts to different types of music.
Snyderman said there were other ideas for the show, but they ultimately fell through, which led them to choose the winning act.
“We had a couple of different ideas,” Snyderman said. “We were gonna do a song and then that fell apart, and then we were throwing out a bunch of different ideas. This was the one that people actually wanted to do, so we just went with it and we pulled it off.”
Dan Chapman, redshirt sophomore rifle team captain, said winning the event was a great feeling because his team worked hard and wanted to win.
“It feels good. We really took this seriously,” Chapman said. “Not putting other teams down, but some people just come out and blow it off. We really came into this hoping we could win. Not expecting to win, but we’re really happy we did win. It feels good.”
The judges for the Buckeyes Got Talent were Scoonie Penn, former OSU men’s basketball player; Antonio Smith, member of 2002 National Championship football team; Mindy Drayer, NBC 4 weekend anchor; Clayton Funk, assistant professor in art education; and Elijah McKnight, a 13-year-old member of Boys and Girls Club of Columbus. They judged the talents on costume, talent, crowd participation, originality and creativity.
Eric Dates, a junior middle blocker on the men’s volleyball team, placed second with his guitar playing and singing of a country song he wrote titled “Six Shots.”
Dates said he has been singing and writing his own music for about two years and would like to go to Nashville to pursue a career in country music.
He said he was happy with his performance and where he placed in the competition, but was most excited about the fact that he now has a video of himself performing live on stage.
“I can’t complain. Just being in the top three is definitely awesome,” Dates said. “I’m just pumped that I got a recording of myself playing live. That’s really all I wanted.”
One of the other notable acts of the night was the duet performed by sophomore defenseman Joe Meurer and freshman defenseman Evan Mulchrone of the men’s lacrosse team. The two sang Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You,” because Mulchrone said they wanted to choose something they both knew that would be fun for the audience.
The decision to perform a song together came from their past experiences on the lacrosse team and from some of their other team members.
“Just me and Joe are always singing along, singing in the locker room and stuff, and so guys just kinda volunteered us to do it,” Mulchrone said. “They pushed us to do it, so we figured why not?”
Aaron Craft, sophomore point guard on the men’s basketball team, did not perform but attended the show to support fellow student-athletes. He said it’s nice to see some of the athletes show off talents that are different than what they are known for and for the fans to be able to see that.
“I think it’s awesome,” Craft said. “Seeing everyone outside their comfort zone. It was just a lot of fun for us to come in, get outside of our sport and just have some fun with it.”
The charity event raised more than $6,400 with proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Club of Columbus.