For the National 4-H Shooting Sports Invitational in Grand Island, Nebr., four Michigan shooters made up the 2013 Michigan 4-H Air Rifle Team. Pictured are, from left, 4-H coach, Marvin Hill, team members Alex Nelson of Iron River, Gerry St. James of St. Clair County, Jesse Thoreson of Amasa, Joshua Fletemier of St. Clair County and 4-H coach Jerry St. James. (submitted photo)
IRON COUNTY— On June 21, two shooters from the Iron County 4-H Shooters Club, Alex Nelson from Iron River and Jesse Thoreson from Amasa, traveled to Grand Island, Neb. to compete in the National 4-H Shooting Sports Invitational held on June 23-28.
Two 4-H shooters from St. Clair County, Gerry St. James and Joshua Fletemier, also traveled with their parents to Grand Island.
The four shooters made up the 2013 Michigan 4-H Air Rifle Team. Jerry St. James from St. Clair County and Marvin Hill from Iron County were selected as coaches.
The invitational was hosted by the University of Nebraska 4-H Youth Development Lincoln Extension.
The ceremonies began on Monday, June 24 with registrations, meetings, equipment inspections, team pictures and numerous speakers to welcome 550 shooters from 36 states to the Grand Island Heartland Events Center.
Competition began on June 25 with the three position air rifle event. Day two competition was a four target (off hand) standing event. Day three competition was the NRA sporter air rifle silhouette match (off hand) standing event with 40 silhouettes at various yardage. Day five was the final day with award ceremonies and completion remarks.
The 2013 Michigan air rifle team did not place in any award category, but was within a few points of placing in the top ten. The team scored ninth out of 16 teams and twelfth out of 59 shooters.
“The team had a great experience, received a wealth of competitive knowledge and made numerous friends from many states,” Hill said.
The 4-H shooters club has had a busy year. During March and April, the Iron County 4-H Sharp Shooters Club participated in the Michigan 4-H postal matches.
This event consisted of 6x10 targets for a three position air rifle. After completing this shoot, the targets were mailed to the Michigan 4-H coordinator for scoring. The results were sent back to the club in May.
Gage Gill of Iron River shot in the junior division and placed fourth. Alex Nelson of Iron River placed fifth in the senior division. Both shooters were selected to compete in a shoulder to shoulder shoot-off with other state 4-H finalists.
On July 22, Gill and Nelson traveled to the Looking Glass Sports Club in Laingsburg. The match shot on July 23 consisted of 6x3 position air rifle targets and an aggregate 1x10 target to eliminate any tie scores.
Nelson placed first in the senior division with a score of 577. Gill took second place with a score of 412 in the junior division.
Coach Hill was very pleased with the results and the super effort of the two shooters did with hours of practice and the stress of the long trip to participate against top notch state shooters.
In addition to those events, nine members of the Iron County 4-H Sharp Shooters Club traveled to the Centerline Shooting Club of Calhoun County on Aug. 2 to compete in BB gun, sporter air rifle and sporter .22 rifle.
This is the fourth trip to the annual state competition.
“We have shot well in the past and our sharpshooters are ready for this year’s competition,” said Hill.
All community support and donations are greatly appreciated.