When she’s not shooting targets, May can be found in the Rockland High band playing trumpet, in the National Honor Society, or doing something else that requires a steady hand and precision — knitting.
‘‘It’s kind of relaxing,’’ said May of knitting. ‘‘It takes my mind off things and it results in something nice like a scarf.’’
Said Todd May: ‘‘I'm pretty fortunate, she’s an independent thinker and she can get along with anybody. If she wants to do something, whether it’s school, sports or other activities, she’s going to make it happen. Generally, she doesn’t do anything halfway.’’
May’s success in the sport isn’t because of her physical ability, it’s mental.
‘‘You can be the best shooter,’’ said May, ‘‘but if you don’t have the mental side, you'll just fall apart.’’
Her father agrees.
‘‘Anybody can reach a certain score physically, it won’t be a winning score but they can reach it,’’ said Todd May. ‘‘It takes the mental side for the elite athletes to reach a higher performance.’’
Rifle is a high-pressure sport and May has shown her ability to compete with anybody, anytime.
One example rings truest to her father. May reached the Super Finals, the end of a competition in which the best 15 shooters all compete against one another at the same time.
‘‘Everyone is supposed to be loud,’’ said Todd. ‘‘They’re cheering, there’s music and the announcer is talking.’’
After each shot, the lowest scorer is eliminated.
‘‘I remember one match where Sonya was the last junior standing,’’ said Todd May. ‘‘She had beaten college, marksman team, international and national competitors.’’