By Ashley Freed
Throughout the last year, over 25 local youth have participated in the Luce County 4-H Shooting Sports Club. These youth have developed skills in archery and BB guns, including safety and fundamental skill building.
In early June, youth club members Tevye Cox and Ben Freed participated in the UP Regional Shooting Tournament in Escanaba. It was the first time Luce County has been represented at this event.
Cox and Freed competed in the archery and BB disciplines, where they placed third in the team division of the competition. This competition was a great learning experience, built their skills, and helped them to gain confidence in their shooting abilities.
Tevye and Ben were joined by a third club member, Taliesan Cox, to continue working on their skills and build the stamina to shoot at the state competition level. To compete at the state level, Tali – an archery participant – had to be able to stand on the firing line consecutively for over an hour and a half, shoot five practice arrows, and shoot 60 scored arrows.
Tevye built stamina in the BB discipline by working on the two competition shooting positions – sitting and prone. To attend competition, Tevye would have to be able to stay engaged on the firing line for almost two hours, shoot several practice shots in each position, and shoot 20 scored shots in each position. As their coach, I am happy to say both youths put in the hard work and became competition ready!
As August approached, so did the State Tournament. Both boys had developed the skills to shoot at the next level and learned 4-H safety procedures and range commands, plus how to maintain their equipment.
The tournament was held near Battle Creek at Centerline of Calhoun County Sportsman’s Club.
Taliesan was competing against six other archers in the Unsigned Senior Archery class; and Tevye was competing against 15 other shooters in the Beginner BB Gun class. The competition went well, and both rose above all expectations and goals.
In the end, Taliesan came in 6th place, but more importantly showed his leadership skills on and off the range to other coaches and state trainers.
Tevye did equally well in his leadership skills, growing leaps and bounds from the regional shoot he participated in. Tevye ended up placing 1st in his division for the state!
To say I am incredibly proud is an understatement. The growth, drive, responsibility, and leadership they both developed through this program is outstanding. I can’t wait to see where they go from here! If you see Tali or Tevye, please congratulate them on their outstanding efforts this summer!
If you are interested in getting your youth involved in 4-H Shooting Sports club please reach out to me, Ashley Freed, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to grow our club and see how shooting sports impact the lives of youth in Luce County.