As we travel through the muzzleloading fraternity, we often have the opportunity to visit with special people.
I consider the opportunity to watch new shooters developing through the territorial program a valuable
experience in my summer of travel. This past summer Guy R. and I had the chance to visit with many junior
and sub-junior shooters in the four territorial matches we attended. Actually, we visited with them at only two
of the four, since only two territorial matches had youngsters shooting. The two were Pennsylvania and
Michigan. Pennsylvania had six sub-juniors and five juniors compete. Michigan had four in each category.
Pennsylvania was a great experience. The highest matches fired by a sub-junior were shot here. Mike Blazier
made everyone proud when he finished with a 100-9X. Charles Kuhns followed closely behind with 100-5X.
Kiera Gearhart, Kyle VanNuys, and Michael Jefferson finished out the top five. The sixth shooter was a neat
eight year old girl whose parents took time off from shooting their own aggregates to ensure that the kids had
time to shoot. The encouragement made me proud to know them. Of course, since Michael Jefferson traveled
up from Maryland and the others were from Pennsylvania, the east coast was well represented. Since Michael
also happens to be our grandson, you could never tell that pride was something felt by Grandma and Grandpa
Smith. Yeah, right!!!
Michigan gave us a new meaning to participation. I had the opportunity to watch Krista and Jacob Broullire
from Niagara, Wisconsin come out to the range with their grandfather, Bert Mathias of Flint. Both got talked
into shooting, and Krista had never shot offhand. She had a good time, and finished high in the standing.
I think you will be hard pressed to decide who was more proud.
Another grandfather, Ralph Stout, from Ohio, came up with several grandchildren, and gave up his shooting
so the kids could fire their matches. Chas Santile, Brad Northrup, and Tim Northrup all finished respectably.
Dan Harrison and Gabe Ruiz were both visiting the Michigan Territorial with their grandparents and ended
up shooting the matches. I guess that since only Krisha Miller shot with her parents, you could say that
grandparents have some influence on the shooting activities of their offspring. Maybe we have more patience?
No, I don't think so.
The Territorial program is in need of Junior and Sub-Junior shooters. A note to parents and grandparents
reading this column--make the time to take the kids to the range and get them started off correctly. We need
the young people to take our places on the line and to keep this sport alive. Well, at least we need to encourage
them into making good choices. The final qualifiers from Michigan and Pennsylvania were as follows:
Take some time next year and get involved with youngsters from your area. Take them out to the range
and encourage their participation in the shooting sports. See you on the line.
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