Coach Mike Knapp has been fielding a 4-H Rifle Team from Somerset County for the past several years.
This season, Coach Knapp and Assistant Coach, Barry Rininger, made up a new team from 4-H members who are currently on the Jerome Jr. Rifle Team. Above shot was from their last practice at our Jerome Sportsmen’s Range a few days before heading to Shenecoy.
Ruby Korenoski, Haley Fetterman, Nicole Rininger, and Elissa Barron, all 4-H members, made the trip to the Shenecoy Sportsmen’s Club in Huntingdon, PA for a 3-P outdoor rifle competition, back on April 10, 2021.
Our Penn State 4-H contacts at the Shenecoy event were Penn State educators in the 4-H program. The Shenecoy Clubhouse was the headquarters for all the events.
Penn State 4-H Extension Educator, Laurie K Hubbard, organized the event for our team. Laurie heads up the 4-H Animal Science Team for the Penn State at the Glades Pike office in Somerset PA.
Darlene M. Resh, 4-H Youth Development Educator, Penn State Extension for Adams County was a busy person logging in new arrivals and explaining the rules of the competition. Darlene is from Gettysburg, PA.
There were Rifle, Shotgun and Archery teams here from all over Pennsylvania. The event was scheduled over two weekends to accommodate all the participants. Darlene was also involved with the Skeet Shooting competitions.
Shenecoy has a nice clubhouse and the skeet ranges here are famous for their clear sky backgrounds. There are no confusing backgrounds, of trees, limbs, and structures, to take a skeet shooters eye from their targets.
Ruby had to see for herself, the skeet fields are perfect.
Here a shooter sees the claybird, and nothing but clouds and sky. Many state and national skeet championships have been held on this course.
Michael Martin, Ph.D. South Central Area Educator, 4-H Youth Development, at Penn State was the Rifle Match Coordinator and Official Scorekeeper at the rifle range. Mike is from Chambersburg PA.
Mike explained the Range Rules, clock management, and stressed that no coaching is permitted once the shooters were in position.
Every outdoor range our team shoots at is a new and different situation. Each facility is unique and the terrain, weather, wind makes each new range a challenge in of itself.
These Four ladies are no strangers to the statewide levels of competition involved in these 3-P shoots. They all have been successful this season at the High School, WestPAC, PIAA, and Jr. Olympic competitions.
Elissa and Nicole shot in our first relay and their shooting technique and their serious disposition impressed the Safety Range Officer.
Later, Ruby and Haley geared up to shoot the last match of the afternoon.
Coach Rininger kept a close eye on the shooters throughout the rifle competition. It’s difficult to score the black targets at 50 yards in low light conditions. You almost have to see them close-up in order to get an actual score.
The shooters were not allowed to touch or remove their targets. However, they were allowed to take cell phone shots to record their shots. Elissa was doing some serious math..the scores were a real Nail-Biter.
Their leather shooting jackets helped keep the shooters warm. It was a cool, overcast and breezy day. A gust of wind can blow a bullet off course at any moment.
Darlene and Mike were intent on scoring the targets of the previous teams, while our Four 4-H ladies were sending bullets downrange.
Nicole and Elissa took turns spotting for Ruby and Haley when they were on the range. BUT, you could not talk to the shooters or give them any indication about how they were doing in their 3-positions.
Ruby and Haley checked out their targets and took a few cell phone shots. We then did our own “rough” score to see about where we stood in the competition. There would be another weekend of shooting after this, so we left the range not sure where we placed in the overall competition at Shenecoy.
Mike Martin and the Range Safety officer took down the last targets that Haley shot, and then we packed up our gear for the trip home.
The all day shoot, in cold weather, made for a long day outdoors. The wait for the results of the 4-H Competition took even longer. UPDATE: Coach Knapp has recently been informed that our 4-H Team won the statewide event at Shenecoy. Our team has now qualified for an invitation to the 4-H Nationals to be held in Grand Island, Nebraska in late June. Congrats to our “4-H Four” on their PA State Championship and Good Luck Ladies on your travels to Nebraska.