“More than 33,000 clay targets were shot at and the vast majority
were hit over the three day, three event competition,” said Dan
Dawson, University of Illinois Extension state coordinator for the
Illinois 4-H Shooting Sports Program.
The trap event marked the last of three days of shooting at the
National Championships, in Grand Island, Nebraska. On Tuesday and
Wednesday mornings, the participants shot sporting clays and skeet
respectively. The participants shot 100 rounds at each of the three
Members of the Illinois National 4-H Shotgun team included: Naythan
Jones, Rock Island County; Walter Barnickel, Lee County; Ethan
Jones, Macoupin County; and Jarrett Rohlfs, Logan County. Coach for
the State Shotgun Team was Bill Peterson from Rock Island County.
The National team was selected from the Illinois 4-H Shooting Sports
state competition the previous fall. The team members were then
afforded the opportunity to practice the three shooting events
leading up to the National contest. The national competitors range
in age from 14 to 18.
The Illinois team finished in 14th place overall with Georgia, Texas
and Nebraska taking the top three team spots. In the trap event,
Naythan Jones finished in third place individually, and in sporting
clays, Walter Barnickel finished in fifth place individually out of
the 109 competitors.
Illinois also sent a participant in the air rifle event. Samuel
Milliard from DuPage County competed in the shooting events of
3-Position, Silhouette and Standing and represented Illinois quite
well. His mother Gina served as his coach during the championship.
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“This was Illinois’ second opportunity to attend the national event with some
states attending for over 20 years,” Dawson said. Besides shotgun and air rifle,
states can send teams of four in small bore rifle, air and .22 pistol, archery
recurve and compound, hunting and wildlife, and muzzle loading.
This national event is very family oriented as can be witnessed at the opening
ceremony, Dawson said. State teams enter a large coliseum carrying their State
flag and conclude by making their way to the seating area. About 700 4-H
participants recited the safety and ethical oath to the approximately 2,000
family members and friends in attendance. Illinois has followed this tradition
as each participant had parents and family members attending the 5-day event.
Bill Peterson, coach of the shotgun team, was making his second commitment and
said, “It’s amazing to see 700 young adults acting in such a safe and
“We should all be very proud of our state participants and encourage others to
consider competing for a National position for the 2017 Nationals to be held
June 25-30,” Peterson said.
The Illinois 4-H Foundation provides financial assistance to this and many other
National 4-H competitions. For additional information on the Illinois 4-H
Shooting Sports program visit your Local County Extension office and/or the
Illinois 4-H Shooting Sports site at: web.extension.illinois.edu/shootingsports.
[Dan Dawson, Extension Shooting
Sports State Educator/Judy Mae Bingman, Extension Media
About 4-H: Illinois 4-H helps
youth learn skills for living. University of Illinois Extension
provides 4-H programs in every county in Illinois. Illinois 4-H
impacts the lives of 200,000 youth each year through sustained
learning clubs and groups and short-term programming.