Moffat County 4-H aims high, shoots straight at state |

Moffat County 4-H aims high, shoots straight at state

The members of the Moffat County 4-H .22 rifle teams gather at Bears Ears Sportsman Club. The group recently competed at state, where the junior team swept all categories in the small bore.
Courtesy Photo
Moffat County 4-H shooting sports state resultsShooter — State ranking• ArcherySeniorCompound unlimitedCutter Polly — 3Tatam Hickman — 8Brittany Schulze — 17Nick Pugh — 18Jaci McDiffett — 30Winter Rogers — 37Team — 1Compound limitedKyla Pogline — 12Zach Soron — 14Hunter Nitzel — 36Laadan Rothermund — 43Tahoe Chenoweth — 57Team — 4Recurve traditionalBrandon Madsen — 24JuniorCompound unlimitedFaith Berkey — 3Kelsey McDiffett — 7Brook Wheeler — 8Blake Duncan — 9Garett Stockman — 31Team — 1Compound limitedAlexander Nichols — 3Zackery Durham — 22Cody Eckhoff — 32Caitlyn Adams — 42Charles Berkey — 81Haley Boatman — 99Team — 3Recurve limitedKimber Wheeler — 1• PistolSeniorKelton Villard — 10JuniorJoseph Winters — 9Mackenzie Schneider-Ott — 16Team — 5• Air pistolSeniorTayla Siminoe — 24JuniorMackenzie Schneider-Ott — 7Joseph Winters — 16Jentry Bacon — 19Team — 6• Air rifleSenior3PAngela Hill — 5Donovan Converse — 19Team — 94PAngela Hill — 5Donovan Converse — 24Team — 10OlympicAngela Hill — 1Donovan Converse — 31Team — 9UtilityAngela Hill — 9Donovan Converse — 36Team — 11Junior3PForrest Siminoe — 5Joey Gates — 8Mackenzie Schneider-Ott — 16Arianna Anderson — 21Zackery Durham — 28Abigail Martinez — 29Team — 24PJoey Gates — 1Forrest Siminoe — 6Abigail Martinez — 19Mackenzie Schneider-Ott — 23Arianna Anderson — 25Ryan Durham — 41Team — 1OlympicJoey Gates — 4Forrest Siminoe — 12Zackery Durham — 13Arianna Anderson — 17Mackenzie Schneider-Ott — 18Abigail Martinez — 19Team — 2UtilityJoey Gates — 2Zackery Durham — 29Mackenzie Schneider-Ott — 42Ryan Durham — 46Abigail Martinez — 55Arianna Anderson — 61Team — 7• RifleSenior3PAngela Hill — 1Gabrielle Ellis — 8Donovan Converse — 30Kelton Villard — 33Team — 54PGabrielle Ellis — 3Angela Hill — 5Kelton Villard — 16Donovan Converse — 34Team — 2HuntAngela Hill — 25Donovan Converse — 37Gabrielle Ellis — 38Kelton Villard — 61Team — 10ScopeAngela Hill — 3Gabrielle Ellis — 16Kelton Villard — 32Donovan Converse — 34Team — 4Junior3PJoey Gates — 1Logan Blackwell — 5Forrest Siminoe — 7Chloe Villard — 10Elias Browning — 11Blake Hill — 13Team — 14PJoey Gates — 1Logan Blackwell — 2Chloe Villard — 5Blake Hill — 8Forrest Siminoe — 10Abbie Blackwell — 33Team — 1HuntJoey Gates — 2Forrest Siminoe — 10Elias Browning— 12Logan Blackwell — 24Blake Hill — 19Chloe Villard — 30Team — 1ScopeJoey Gates — 1Logan Blackwell — 6Forrest Siminoe — 8Blake Hill — 14Chloe Villard — 23Elias Browning— 25Team — 1• ShotgunSeniorClaysCarlin King — 12Laadan Rothermund — 42Lane White — 53Trevor Hume — 62Toryn Hume — 105Colby Beckett — 109Team — 12SkeetCarlin King — 5Toryn Hume — 31Lane White — 58Trevor Hume — 70Colby Beckett — 79Laadan Rothermund — 95Team — 11TrapCarlin King — 4Toryn Hume — 53Lane White — 64Trevor Hume — 84Colby Beckett — 101Laadan Rothermund — 116Team — 11JuniorClaysLogan Blackwell — 6Torin Gray — 31Will McStay — 42Elias Browning— 52Wyatt Dade — 72Cody Dade — 85Team — 9SkeetLogan Blackwell — 8Torin Gray — 37Will McStay — 40Elias Browning— 58Cody Dade — 77Wyatt Dade — 82Team — 8TrapLogan Blackwell — 2Will McStay — 11Torin Gray — 27Wyatt Dade — 56Elias Browning — 61Cody Dade — 108Team — 3

When there’s greatness to be had, Moffat County kids are always willing to give it a shot.

Moffat County 4-H shooting sports teams saw a successful run at state competitions in late August and early September, with a handful of senior shooters looking to move on to the national level next summer.

Archery competed in Pueblo last month, and the Sliver Slingers’ junior and senior groups each took top team honors in the compound unlimited competition.

The group of Cutter Polly, Tatam Hickman, Brittany Schulze, Nick Pugh, Jaci McDiffett and Winter Rogers won the senior division, while Faith Berkey, Kelsey McDiffett, Brook Wheeler, Blake Duncan and Garett Stockman took the juniors.

Cutter Polly and Berkey each earned third individually, a ranking that would automatically qualify the senior for the national round were he not age-ineligible.

However, coach Sarah Polly said the team’s hard work can still carry on from here with another senior who placed eighth.

“Tatam Hickman has been invited as an alternate for nationals, but final placings for national team have not been determined,” she said.

Other archery highlights included junior Alexander Nichols taking third in the junior compound limited and Kimber Wheeler winning outright in the junior recurve limited.

Not to be outdone, the junior rifle team swept the small bore event, placing first as a group in the 3P international, 4P sporter, hunt and scope categories. Joey Gates individually won all but hunt, joined by Forrest Siminoe, Elias Browning, Logan Blackwell, Blake Hill, Chloe Villard and Abbie Blackwell.

Angela Hill won in the senior 3P event and led her group in hunt and scope, though Gabrielle Ellis led in third in the 4P, which, in second place, was the highest group result for the team that included Hill, Ellis, Kelton Villard and Donovan Converse.

Hill and Converse also shot in the senior air rifle competition, with Hill winning the Olympic offhand category. On the junior side, Gates, Siminoe, Abigail Martinez, Mackenzie Schneider-Ott, Arianna Anderson, Ryan Durham won the air rifle 4P, led by Gates in first.

While Hill is likely to return to the national competition next summer, and Kelton Villard also qualified in .22 pistol, coach Jody Lee expects the juniors’ showing to be an indicator of even more good things to come.

“Our juniors did exceptionally well, Joey was no doubt the top shooter in the state for them,” said Lee. “Seems like every year, there’s always a lot of things you see that makes you proud, and with the families we have such a good support system to help the teams out. It’s always such a group effort.”

4-H coaches also noted they’d like to thank Friends of the NRA as a sponsor.

Labor Day was a day of work for the Moffat County shotgun teams, which took to Colorado Springs for their state event. A third-place finish went to the junior team in the trap category, led by Logan Blackwell in second, followed by Will McStay, Torin Gray, Wyatt Dade, Elias Browning and Cody Dade.

The trap round was also the best for Carlin King, who tied for fourth among seniors and was ultimately fifth after a shoot-off among eight competitors, as well as fifth overall. Though the top four shooters move on to nationals, two of the leaders had already represented their county in the contest, putting King in third and on track to the next level.

Coach Adrian Gray noted that he wanted to thank departing coach Wade Gerber for his years of service.

Gerber said he had decided to step aside since he no longer has children in the program, though helping young shooters master marksmanship has made quite an impression on him.

“Now’s a good time to turn it over, but watching kids grow and learn and being better each year, they challenge themselves and the whole time I’ve been with them, they’ve just been a great group of kids,” he said.