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Oklahoma makes history at national shooting sports contest

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Members of the Oklahoma 4-H shooting sports team made history recently by capturing first place in the compound archery portion of a national competition.

Oklahoma’s team was comprised of 24 4-H’ers who qualified to represent the state at the 2013 National Shooting Sports Invitational that took place recently at the Heartland Public Shooting Park in Grand Island, Neb., said Kevin Allen, who serves as the statewide coordinator for the Oklahoma 4-H shooting sports program at Oklahoma State University.

“The compound archery team is part of the whole shooting sports team and is the first championship team we’ve ever had from Oklahoma,” Allen said. “In addition, the shotgun team placed fifth overall in the competition, and the team as a whole placed 10th overall. There were a total of 32 states and more than 550 individuals participating. This group of 4-H’ers did an outstanding job representing our state.”

By participating in the shooting sports program, club members not only learn about their individual shooting discipline, but they also learn about a wide variety of life skills, including teamwork, leadership, self-discipline, character, safety, goal setting, decision making, critical thinking, problem solving and communication.

Allen said there is still a general consensus 4-H is primarily an agricultural-related organization.

“While our roots are based in agriculture and agriculture is so important, there are many youth who don’t have the opportunity to own and raise an animal,” he said. “Fortunately there is still a place in 4-H for those youth. We utilize our various projects to identify areas where youth have a natural interest, and we capitalize on that interest to teach important life skills.”

In the area of shooting sports, as with all 4-H projects, it is important to remember the firearm or bow is simply the tool used to help club members develop these life skills.

“Through all 4-H projects we provide a positive environment, help develop knowledge and life skills, provide opportunities for positive experiences and show we care about the youth involved. Shooting sports continues to be one of our fastest growing programs and provides the organization with one more way for youth to be involved in positive activities with positive adult role models.”

Members of the compound archery team include Blaine Williams, Sequoyah County; Dillon Chaloupek, Blaine County; Payne Newman, Adair County; and Briley Cozad, Pittsburg County. The team is coached by Debbie Chaloupek.

The air rifle team includes Jed Edmonson, Logan County; DJ McMillan, Harmon County; and Samantha Brownlee, Pittsburg County. Ryan Arrington is the coach. 

Members of the air pistol team are Steven Story and Zach Paul, both of Harmon County; Caitlin O’Neal, Roger Mills County; and Rosella Edmonson, Logan County. The team is coached by Randy O’Neal.

Kale Jones of Kingfisher County is the only member of the recurve team and is coached by Kevin Woolley.

Members of the .22 rifle team include Jake Shires, Marcus McCarty Reeves and Kyle Dowd, all of Bryan County. They are coached by Darrel Dowd.

Clay Galbreath, Pontotoc County; and Austin DeSilva and Christian Bensch, both of Garfield County, are on the muzzle loader team coached by Ron Akers.

The shotgun team members are Dillon Barnard, Tillman County; Lane Brumley, Pawnee County; Caleb Paine, Oklahoma County; and Gage Godberson, Pawnee County. Dwayne Skidgel is the team’s coach.

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