Second place finisher, Brandon Batchelder from Logan County,
scored a 98 out of 100, one shot behind the leader. Batchelder
said the misty rain in the morning forced the competitors to
concentrate and adjust their shooting to compensate for the weather.
The next three competitors tied for third with each only missing
four shots on the day. A 25-round shoot off determined the final
placings; Trent Finchum of Edgar County, third; Brent Alman of Rock
Island County, fourth; and Darren Hawkins of Grundy County, fifth.
The contest was held Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Brittany Shooting Park
in Bunker Hill.
Each competitor enters the day with an idea of what “a good day”
means to them. For the young team from Mason County, they wanted to
“hit at least half of what they shot,” said Brayden Leamon and Jamie
Wilcoxen. The final count showed both young men beating that goal.
Fellow Mason County member Dalton Powell said he tries not to think
about how many targets he will hit. “It’s about having fun and
beating what I did last year,” he said.
It’s the same advice one heard his coach, Steve Hilgers, say over
and over. As he rounded up his team of 10 competitors for one last
pep talk, the words were simple, “Have a vision, and make it happen.
Have fun, and support your teammates.”
Hilgers’ advice is the foundation of all 4-H youth development work
where young people are encouraged to set goals and work as a team to
accomplish those goals, regardless if they’re on the shooting range,
on a stage, or in a 4-H community garden.
As a volunteer 4-H shooting sports club leader, Hilgers offers
fundamentals needed for youth to improve their target shooting, such
as the quiet mantra “Pull – One – Shoot” which reminds the young
people to slow down and wait one second after they call for the clay
target to be released before they shoot.
Regardless of the hours of practice the competitors put in, each
competition brings its own set of variables. On Saturday, the wind
and rain were major obstacles. Logan County member Maison Sherman,
who finished tied for 17th out of 68 competitors with a score of 88,
said it was tough to try to “figure out how the target was moving
The Logan County team was on the hunt of its third straight team
championship which it won with a combined score of 374 out of 400
points. In addition to Batchelder and Alcorn, the team included Seth
Gleason and Brayden Rohlfs.
For Scott Wheat of Sangamon-Menard counties, the challenge was
getting used to the way the machine threw the clay targets in the
air. Each machine is different; for Wheat, his answer was to aim
Will County 4-H member Nick Morris said his challenge was seeing the
clay target against the foggy, overcast sky. The first-year member
shot an 86 on the day at his first state meet. Had it not been for
Grundy County 4-H member Samantha Bachara, Morris said he would not
have joined the shooting sports club. “It’s something you have to
experience to really get it,” he said. “You don’t want to do it
until you’ve done it.”
Bachara finished just out of the top finishers with a 90. Always up
for a challenge, she said her goal is always to “run them” by
hitting each and every target thrown.
[to top of second column]
Other top finishers on the day included Hayden Hemrich of Richland County,
sixth; Naythen Jones of Rock Island County, seventh; Landen Alcorn of Logan
County, eighth; Dakota Larimore-Lamb of Piatt County, ninth; and Seth Gleason of
Logan County, tenth. The top 10 finishers all scored 93 or above out of 100
The top 10 finishers in the 2016
State 4-H Shotgun Shoot held Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Brittany Shooting Park in
Bunker Hill all scored 93 and above out of 100 possible points to claim the top
prizes. They include (back, left to right) Jacob Maschino, Edgar County, first;
Brandon Batchelder, Logan County, second;
Trent Finchum, Edgar County, third; and Brent Alman, Rock Island, fourth;
(front) Hayden Hemrich, Richland County, sixth;
Landon Alcorn, Logan County, eighth;
and Dakota Larimore-Lamb, Piatt County, ninth. Not present for the photo were
Darren Hawkins, Grundy County, fifth; Naythen Jones, Rock Island County,
seventh; and Seth Gleason, Logan County;
For the third year in a row, a
team from Logan County 4-H won the team division of the State 4-H Shotgun Shoot.
The event was held Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Brittany Shooting Park in Bunker
Hill. Pictured, left to right, are Volunteer Leader William Kennett, Brandon
Batchelder, Brayden Rohlfs, and Landon Alcorn. The fourth member of the team,
Seth Gleason, was not present for the photo.
The top five teams included Logan County, first; Rock Island County,
second; Edgar County, third; Fulton County, fourth; and Mason County, fifth.
For 20-year-old Alex Moore, the draw of the shotgun competition is strong. Even
though he is past the age of 4-H membership, the Sangamon County alum was on the
range supporting the program as a volunteer. More than 850 adults have completed
the required 18 hours of certification; many repeating the instruction for more
than one of the six areas of involvement.
Illinois’ national 4-H shooting sports team will be determined from results of
this competition. Support for the national team is provided by the Illinois 4-H
[Amy L. Hyde, Ag in the Classroom
Program Coordinator 4-H Youth Development & Master Gardeners
Logan County University of Illinois Extension]