A shot at state: Moffat County 4-H shooters have success in sight
The local competitions have officially wrapped for all the Moffat County 4-H shooting teams, and though they were the last to determine their qualifiers, the shotgun group is eyeing what’s next.
With 18 youths testing their merits Saturday morning at Craig Trap Club, 11 will move on to the state round and national qualifier in late August and early September in Colorado Springs.
Representing the senior group are Ty Blackwell, Elias Browning, Laadan Rothermund, Jentry Bacon, and Karla Pitha, while the junior state team will consist of Stone Balleck, Wyatt Dade, Will McStay, Magnum Gustin, Kannon Gustin, and Abbie Blackwell.
Ty Blackwell, who competed at 4-H archery nationals this summer, led the day in senior skeet and sporting clays, with Browning winning the trap category.
“I did a lot better than I usually do. Everybody’s a little nervous, but you’ve just gotta treat it like any other day,” Browning said.
Balleck won junior trap and skeet, while Abbie Blackwell won clays.
DeAnne Blackwell coaches the team along with husband Jason. DeAnne noted a high level of shooting in the junior trap round with state qualifiers scoring between 45 and 49.
“Great improvement in shooting among all the kids,” she said.
As part of the 4-H program, shooters are expected to take care of their equipment, which Rothermund took to heart, oiling and cleaning his gun between rounds.
“I usually try to clean mine every hundred shots or 50,” he said. “I’ve been doing good so far. Could have done better. All of us are shooting good in practice.”
As for other parts of the Trap Club premises, brothers Wyatt and Cody Dade took it upon themselves to work on new housing for the skeet clays as part of their 4-H project.
With about a week’s worth of work in picking out and preparing the lumber for the wooden structures, Cody joked the toughest part was probably working together cooperatively with his sibling.
While some on the shotgun team have been gaining expertise for several years, others were in their first big competition Saturday, such as Jessica Whitecotton, who noted she only began shooting in the past three months.
“I think my favorite part of it is trap,” she said. “My parents said it would be really good for me, and I’ve really improved in my aim and how I carry the gun and in safety.”