Maryland 4-H'ers Head to National Shooting Sports Invitational Match


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May 30, 2006

4-H Shotgun teamEight Maryland 4-H teens and their volunteer instructors will head to Rapid City, South Dakota, June 25-July 2 for the National 4-H Shooting Sports Invitational Match. Four youth--Montana Jones of Anne Arundel County, Jonathan Hart of Charles County, Thomas Davis of Carroll County and Greg Ritter of Charles County--will compete in the Shotgun Competition. They are coached by Frank Fruh and Ray Pierce, volunteer 4-H shotgun instructors from Charles County. Three other Maryland 4-H'ers--Peter Severance of Howard County, Philip McIntee of Dorchester County and Stephen Bolitho of Dorchester County--will compete in the Recurve Archery Competition, with support from 4-H volunteer instructor Stanley Trice of Cambridge.

All the competitors earned the opportunity to participate in the National 4-H Shoot through their outstanding participation in state competitions--archers at the Maryland State 4-H Archery Match last October and shotgun participants at the Maryland State 4-H Shotgun Match in March. Since then, they have practiced many hours to improve their skills in preparation for the national event, where they will compete with 4-H'ers from across the United States. Last year’s National 4-H Invitational Event held in Columbia, Missouri, drew 370 youth from 24 states, competing in Compound & Recurve Archery, Air Rifle, Smallbore Rifle, Air Pistol, Smallbore Pistol, Muzzleloader, Hunting Skills and Shotgun.

This year's archery team will be required to shoot three different events: Field Archery, FITA and 3D. The Field Archery event involves shooting 14 targets at various distances from 5 to 60 yards. The FITA course involves shooting at 60, 50, 40 and 30 meters; and the 3D round will challenge the archers with a variety of targets at distances of 5 to 40 yards.

Shotgun team members also will compete in three different events: four rounds of trap (100 clay targets), four rounds of skeet (100 clay targets) and sporting clays (100 clay targets).

In addition to the shooting events, Maryland will be represented with a candidate for the National 4-H Shooting Sports Teen Ambassador training program. Matt Pender of Dorchester County has been accepted to participate in the ambassador training and selection program held during the National 4-H Shooting Sports Invitational.

Like all 4-H programs, the purpose of 4-H shooting sports programs is to foster youth development and teach life skills to young people. These programs help young people develop self-confidence, personal discipline, responsibility, teamwork, self-esteem and sportsmanship. They also teach safety, concentration, goal setting and decision-making. The discipline and self-control required for responsible firearms and archery use carries over into many other aspects of life.

Team support for the South Dakota trip is being provided by a number of organizations and individuals including: Chesapeake Chapter Safari Club International & Sables, Maryland Legislative Sportsmen’s Foundation, the Greater Waldorf Jaycees Foundation, The Talbot Retriever Club, The Maryland 4-H Foundation, The Maryland 4-H Shooting Sports Committee, local and county 4-H programs and private business and individuals.

For additional information about 4-H Shooting Sports, visit www.4-hshootingsports.org. or contact your local Maryland 4-H Extension Office.

4-H archery team

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For more information, contact: Conrad Arnold