Saturday was the Indiana State Junior High Power Championship at the FWRR Range. We had worked on this since March or April and it was like waiting for Christmas when you were a kid. You want it to hurry up and get here, but there is always that little nagging doubt that you might not get what you wanted – or in this case things just might not turn out as well as you hoped.
Not to worry! This was a day to remember. The three relays for the match filled up early and we kept getting more and more Juniors registering. Our last Juniors joined the match Friday evening about 6:00 when Dad found a way to get a day off work so he could bring them. Since they were driving up from French Lick – way down in southern Indiana, it wasn’t a quick trip either.
We had eleven Juniors in all from as far south as French Lick; Lafayette; Maumee, Ohio; McCordsville and of course our Ft, Wayne Juniors. If I recall correctly, none of them are old enough to drive as yet (most are 14 or 15) and one of our FWRR Juniors just turned thirteen. This group is a great building base for a statewide Junior High Power program.
The day was perfect for shooting. As the week went on, the weather prospects improved steadily and by Saturday morning conditions were perfect. We had a First Shot Ceremony where Sue Mogle, the Indiana State Rifle and Pistol Association VP for High Power fired our first shot. It gave us a hint of what the day could bring when her offhand shot from 200-yards showed up as an X on Target 6!
We shot a National Match Course in three relays. Since ten of the eleven shooters were Marksmen (some shooting their first match) we allowed coaching for Marksmen – the one young lady who is shooting at a CMP Master Classification level had to rely on herself. The match went very well – the most important thing was that the Juniors had fun. The Juniors were supported by a large group of parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters as well as several shooters who just stopped by to see how the match was going.
There were seventeen “Old Folks” shooting as well – they had fun too, but the day was about the Juniors.
After the match, lunch was served. Michelle and Mark Walters acted as our caterers and laid out a spread of burgers, chicken, hot dogs, mac and cheese and just about anything you could have asked for to go with it. If you went home hungry, it was your own fault.
We closed out the day with a quick Blind Draw Team Match where the Juniors drew team partners out of a hat and they drew a coach from the mix as well. The Garand Course match fired on the MR 52 target (600-yard target reduced for 200-yards) proved to be a challenge.
By the end of the day, we were exhausted but on such a high that we didn’t realize it until we slowed down and sat for a while. Our visitors had nothing but praise for our range. Several visitors commented that it looked more like a golf course than a typical rifle range and a shooter from Wildcat Valley said; “These are the nicest firing points I’ve ever shot on. I’ve played on worse putting greens.” Even the Porta-Pots were bragged about! Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to make the range particularly nice for the day.
Junior State Championship Match results are:
State Junior High Power Champion: Madelyn Schnelle 489-23X
Master Madelyn Schnelle 489-23X
Marksman Robert Stevens 466-14X
Offhand Marshall Rohrbach 95-1X
Sitting Rapid Alex Becker 95-3X
Prone Rapid Logan Becker 96-1X
Prone Emma Branson 182-6X
The top six “Old Folks” results were:
Mike King 488-13X
Mark Walters 481-19X
Pete Yarbro 480-13X
Eric Becker 479- 7X
Randy Jahn 477-16X
Geoff Branson 473- 8X
Just to brag on the Juniors a bit; Madelyn Schnelle outshot Mike King by a point and ‘way out “X-ed” him. Marshall Creedmored Mike in his offhand stage, 95-1X vs, 95-0X. Mike had a pretty good day – but the Juniors came with their Game On!
Here is a link to a LOT of pictures from Saturday. Thanks to Sue Mogle for capturing all the action.
Our next match will be a Mid-range match on July 24th. The match will not start until 11 AM (Registration opens at 9:45) – a deliberate late start so folks who have to come in from elsewhere won’t need to get up at oh-dark-thirty to get here for the event.
See you then!