The Ellis Co. Shooting Sports 4-H Club coached 18 youth to the State 4-H Shooting Sports Games in San Antonio at the National Shooting Complex held July 14 – 20. Shooters competed in a variety of archery and shotgun events and learned much about sportsmanship, camaraderie and rules and techniques for many shooting games. Stafford Elementary student Hunter Hinz, age 11 of Italy, was on the Ellis County shooting team.
“It was a busy week, but it was full of excitement in watching the youth persevere through challenges, great sportsmanship and we have no regrets going to it. We learned lots of new things. Our group has amazing parents that are very supportive and helpful,” said 4-H club manager and Coach Shannon Edwards.
Ellis County kids coming home with awards included Casan Mahone, age 11 of Red Oak, who earned 1st place in the Lewis class for Whiz Bang, a shotgun event. Matt Dawson, age 17 of Maypearl, won 3rd place in Modified 600, an archery event.
Upon their return home, many of the 4-H’ers commented on what they learned and enjoyed about their State 4-H Shooting Games experience.
“My favorite part of the state games was shooting Sporting Clays in shotgun. I had a really good score and I like walking to all the different stations in the woods. I like how the clays come out in different ways at different angles which is like hunting birds for real. I also like 3D archery and how it is similar to hunting with a bow. It was hard though because we had to walk through the woods for about 3-1/2 hours. I need to learn to judge my distances better in that event because the coach can’t tell you how far the target is,” said Hinz.
Ben Terry, age 16 of Waxahachie, who is the incoming 4-H County Council President, also enjoyed the competition and learned more about archery and shotgun.
“I learned more about the appropriate stances for sporting clays, not to raise my head off the gun when I shoot. I also should’ve used sunscreen! Another thing our coaches really focus on teaching us is sportsmanship and to always be respectful because you never know who’s had a bad day (you’d be one less knot head they’d have to deal with. I will also practice more before next year,” said Terry.
Junior shooter Bryce Winfield, age 10 of Midlothian, is now hooked on archery.
“The most challenging thing for me this week was the difficult 3D course with a lot of long shots. I learned that there were a lot of kids with the same interest in archery as me. It was fun to compete against them. I want to go back next year and compete in all of the archery events again plus I would like to learn how to shoot shotgun and rifle before next year. It was fun getting to spend time with my family and have them cheer me on. They are proud of me,” said Winfield.
The club would like to thank their very generous sponsors that helped make it possible for these 4-Hers to compete at state. They include Americase, Pro Am Clays Association, Inc., Amerigraphix, Inc., Village Fair Car Wash- Wayne Johnston, Sherry & Randall Brooks, and Charles Hubbard.
“It is expensive for each child to attend state. We are very thankful to these sponsors. Our youth also raised over $2000 to help cover expenses for going as well. They will start a new fundraiser in the fall to help offset cost for 2014 State Games,” said Coach Edwards.
The new 4-H year will begin August 15 with online enrollment. For more information about becoming involved in the Ellis County program you may contact the local county extension agent office, or call shooting sports coach Shannon Edwards at 301-357-0275. The club is hosting a 3D Archery Tournament on September 7 and a Shotgun Fun Shoot on October 5 at the Ellis County Sportsman’s Club in Waxahachie. There is also a new Italy based 4-H Club beginning this fall with leader Peggy Donathan.
The 4-H Shooting Sports Program is in 46 states, has approximately 17,653 volunteer instructors’ nationwide, working with and teaching in excess of 330,000 young people. In 2012, 4-H Volunteer Shooting Sports Instructors devoted 490,811 hours working with youth in this program. This is a comprehensive introduction to shooting sports safety and the fundamentals of shooting disciplines. This includes: archery, pistol, rifle, shotgun, and hunting. The 4-H organization focuses on a strong youth development approach based upon long-term mentorship. To become a volunteer go to: http://www.4-h.org/get-involved/volunteer/
Following are the 4-Hers that represented Ellis County 4-H and the events they competed in:
- Colt Cottongame- 3D Archery, Field Archery, All shotgun events (Sporting Clays, American Skeet, International Skeet, Whiz Bang, American Trap, Modified Trap)
- Hunter Hinz- 3D Archery, Sporting Clays, American Skeet, International Skeet, and Whiz Bang
- Casan Mahone- 3D Archery, Sporting Clays, American Skeet, International Skeet, and Whiz Bang
- Marcus Morado- 3D Archery, Sporting Clays, American Skeet, International Skeet, and Whiz Bang
- Bryce Winfield- 3D Archery, Field Archery, and Modified 600 Archery
- Brendan Eaglen- American Skeet, American Trap and Sporting Clays
- Marcus Edwards- Sporting Clays, American Skeet and International Trap
- Michael Edwards- 3D Archery, Field Archery, Whiz Bang, Modified Trap, and American Trap
- Rob Jenson- 3D Archery and Field Archery
- Cade Mahone- 3D Archery, Whiz Bang, Sporting Clays, American Skeet and American Trap
- Will Perry- American Skeet, American Trap, Whiz Bang and Sporting Clays
- Gordon Scott- Sporting Clays, American Skeet, and American Trap
- David Terry- 3D Archery, Sporting Clays, American Skeet, and International Skeet
- Garrett Yarbrough- American Skeet, American Trap, and Sporting Clays
- Ben Terry- Field Archery, 3D Archery, Sporting Clays, Whiz Bang, American Trap, and International Trap
- Matt Dawson- Field Archery, 3D Archery, Clout Archery, Modified 600 Archery, and Wand Archery
- Hunter Garcia- Sporting Clay, American Skeet, American Trap and Whiz Bang
- Lindsey Williams- Sporting Clays, American Skeet, American Trap and Whiz Bang