4-H shooters bring home national awards

Published 2:04 pm Saturday, July 17, 2021

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Davie County 4-H Shooting Sports Club has some new national champions and a whole lot of awards from the 2021 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships in Grand Island, Neb. June 21-25.

The six Davie 4-H members and three coaches who competed were: Rebekah Walker and Coach Maurice Walker for Smallbore Pistol; Caleb Mathis and Samantha Taylor for Muzzleloader; and Naomi Hellard, Jacob Durham and Stephen Timbinaris with Coach Emily Hellard for Hunting Skills.

Jimmy Staley coached the shotgun team that did not have any participants from Davie other than the coach.

Rebekah had individual finishes of ninth and eighth for Days 1 and 2 events and finished seventh overall. Her Smallbore Pistol Team, Coached by Maurice Walker had two third places and a  fifth place on the three days and won silver for the overall pistol competition.

Caleb had a fourth and an eighth in the daily awards and finished 10th overall as an individual. He and Samantha brought home a silver, a bronze and a gold for the daily team events and team gold overall as team national champions for muzzleloader.

Their teammate, Luke Chappin from Iredell County 4-H, was overall individual national champion for muzzleloader. This was also the first time a North Carolina muzzleloader team won the overall gold.

In hunting skills, the team had two bronzes and a fifth place finish for the three days and finished with a third place overall.

Naomi had a fourth on Day 3, Stephen won a bronze on Day 1 and a seventh on Day 2.

Jacob Durham struck gold on Day 3, making him a national champion for Day 3.  Jacob ended up fourth overall and  Stephen seventhth with Naomi just missing the stage with an 11th by less than a 1/100th of a point.

Jimmy Staley’s shotgun team had a Day 1 individual national champion and two daily fourth place team finishes  and a seventh. The team ended up fourth overall making it the best finish ever for a North Carolina 4-H shotgun team.

Davie County 4-H kids  earned five golds, four silvers and 15 bronzes.

This year’s national championship featured competitors from 36 states. The North Carolina team finished second behind Louisiana for the second time.

“We really racked up a lot of awards with our kids and it kind of makes it sound like it’s a feel good, everyone goes home with a trophy sort of thing, but it certainly is not,” said Nelson Cowden, Davie 4-H shooting sports adult leader. “There are close to 1000 kids in this tournament with nine different competitions and 90 percent or more go home  with nothing but fond memories and a t-shirt. I know, we have been there.

“This is the fifth time we have had kids make the North Carolina teams and by far the most successful group. Caleb won a daily gold in 2019 and Stephen Walker, who now has aged out of 4-H won the overall championship for smallbore pistol in 2018. We’ve brought home some medals and ribbons in the past, but nothing like this haul.”