Moving targets: Moffat County 4-H shotgun shooters stare down state possibilities | CraigDailyPress.com

Moving targets: Moffat County 4-H shotgun shooters stare down state possibilities

Bits of orange clay were scattered far and wide across the grounds of Craig Trap Club Sunday afternoon, an indicator of a job well done for the members of the Moffat County 4-H shotgun team.

The group’s state completion shoot was a lengthy day of skeet, sporting clays and trap shooting for the local junior and senior squads as they prepare to move on to the next big level.

Coaches DeAnne and Jason Blackwell oversaw the event, the culmination of several months of preparation.

“It’s just commitment, like with anything, you’ve got to practice to do well,” DeAnne said. “A lot of shooters who are just starting out have done well, and the ones who are returning have stayed consistent.”

DeAnne’s son, Ty, finished as the senior grand champion in both the skeet and trap rounds, as well as reserve champion in sporting clays, which was won by Carlin King. King, who competed at the national championships earlier this summer, was also reserve champ in skeet, with Toryn Hume second in trap.

Ty Blackwell and King will both represent Moffat County at the state level, though Hume will not be attending, while the rest of the senior group is rounded out by Jesse Earle, Jentry Bacon and Laadan Rothermund. Torin Gray also qualified with third in skeet, though he won’t be moving on to state.

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Kameron Baker was among those shooting, though he was unsure if he’d be making the cut.

“I don’t think I practiced enough,” he said, noting summer preparation for Moffat County High School football this fall.

His younger brother, Klayton, on the other hand, was in the top five for the juniors in each round, including taking grand champion in sporting clays.

“I just love being able to work on my shooting out here,” Klayton said, though he won’t be attending the state shoot.

Winning the junior skeet and trap shoots were Elias Browning and Will McStay, respectively, with McStay reserve champ in skeet.

Cody Dade took second in both sporting clays and trap, while his brother, Wyatt, had a different kind of challenge to cope with during the day.

As the result of a broken leg sustained while horseback riding, Wyatt has been using a walking crutch for the past month. Balancing on the device for walking, let alone using a firearm, has been an adjustment for him but not necessarily a handicap as he secured spots for state.

“I think I did my best ever in skeet,” Wyatt said.

Also moving on to the state shoot — which takes place Sept. 1 and 2 in Colorado Springs — are Stone Balleck and Abbie Blackwell, the latter of whom is the lone girl on the shotgun team, though she also shoots archery.

With 18 total shooters from Moffat County, DeAnne noted she would like to see greater numbers in the program whenever possible, though those who commit show their dedication.

“I’ve been pleased,” she said.

4-H shotgun state shooting teams

Senior

Skeet

  1. Ty Blackwell
  2. Carlin King
  3. Jesse Earle
  4. Jentry Bacon
  5. Laadan Rothermund 

Sporting clays

  1. Carlin King
  2. Ty Blackwell
  3. Jentry Bacon
  4. Jesse Earle
  5. Laadan Rothermund

Trap

  1. Ty Blackwell
  2. Jentry Bacon
  3. Carlin King
  4. Laadan Rothermund
  5. Jesse Earle

— Toryn Hume and Torin Gray also qualified for state. Hume was reserve champion in trap shooting.

Junior

Skeet

  1. Elias Browning
  2. Will McStay
  3. Cody Dade
  4. Wyatt Dade
  5. Abbie Blackwell

Sporting Clays

  1. Cody Dade
  2. Elias Browning
  3. Stone Balleck
  4. Wyatt Dade
  5. Will McStay

Trap

  1. Will McStay
  2. Cody Dade
  3. Wyatt Dade
  4. Stone Balleck
  5. Elias Browning

— Klayton Baker also qualified for state and was the champion in sporting clays.