Jerome Team Shoots the Zippy Open

On September 19, 2021 we had 6 members of the Jerome Jr. Rifle Team signed up to travel to Akron, Ohio to compete in the University of Akron’s Zippy Open.

We were all a bit worried about night-time noise when we saw our hotel was hosting a Wedding and a High School Class Reunion.

This year we gathered at a very nice hotel near the campus of UA on the evening before. Unlike our 2019 hotel…this year we all had a good nights rest and a good breakfast before heading out to the college. The wedding throng and reunion folks were pretty quiet. Next stop the Zips Range.

We unloaded Barry’s Big White Van and started into the facility to set up our gear for the .22 Small-bore and .177 Air Rifle events. With two rifles each and our gear bags, we take up a lot of space.

The Zippy Sign-in Desk is always a bit crowded and some of our team members buy extra Zippy Open T-Shirts.

Zach, Maryssa, Emily, Nicole, Ruby, and Elissa all had a chance to get in a photo with the Zips Head Coach, Newt Engle.

Barry met with Coach Engle prior to the start of the match to catch up on the events the Jerome Jr. Rifle team had been involved with over the past season.

The Range Safety Officer gave a brief talk about the rules and the electronic scoring system, then he started the official clock.

In addition to our Jerome Jr. Team and the Zips Rifle Team, there were other individuals and teams from PA, VA, Ohio, Indiana, Connecticut and Maryland in this competition.

Coach Engle kept a close eye on the shooters and even took a few photos and video clips along the line.

The competitions at the college level brings out the best in our shooters, even though some have never shot in such a high pressure match. Unfamiliar surroundings and shooting with a new and different scoring system can rattle the most experienced Rifle competitors. Still the 10’s were abundant.

The target box has a computer generated image instead of a paper bullseye target, the shots are recorded by sound waves. This box is adjustable in height to relate to the 3-positions that the competitors shoot from.

Waiting between the air rifle and small-bore events gives the team time to relax, meditate, eat or take a nap. Some rest while seated, the rifle cases don’t seem very comfortable.

One classroom is set up for spectators to view the scores for both Small-bore and Air rifle and it’s nice to follow the progress of your team. Some shoot much faster than others, or much slower.

Parents need a break during the match, too. Some can follow the shooting activity on a live feed from their cell phones.

The Air Rifle event is conducted in a smaller range as the distance to the targets is half of the Small-bore event. The only position in Air Rifle is standing, and after shooting a full round of 22-Small-bore this match can test the overall endurance of the shooter.

During a match the Coach can be called on for a problem like a jacket malfunction. Maryssa got her gear re-adjusted and her next shot was a TEN.

The last 60 shots from the standing position, makes for a long day.

Elissa and Ruby met with Coach Engle for an overview of what it’s like to be a member of the Zips Rifle Team. Coach Engle covered a lot of questions and answers often asked by High School Seniors. After the meeting they toured the campus guided by the Zips Rifle Team members.

There weren’t many students roaming campus because the Zips had a home football game at their Stadium.

As we were leaving we heard the roar of the crowd, not for us, just another Touchdown was scored. That’s the stadium structure above.

All the results of the match are not in because the “Zippy Open” runs for two consecutive weekends. More information will be posted later.

Safety First at all Rifle Events

Earlier this year, when the Jerome Jr. Rifle Team planned to host the 2020-2021 PENNSYLVANIA JUNIOR OLYMPIC STATE SMALLBORE & AIR RIFLE CHAMPIONSHIPS at their Indoor Range Facility, Coach Barry Rininger, of the Jerome Jr. Rifle Team, stressed the importance of Safety on the Range at all times.

Rininger believed all rifle participants had to receive a consistent Safety message, with all the Covid-19 mandates included, prior to every match. Rininger selected a number of veteran Range Safety Officers, (RSO’s) to oversee the 3-day event. The RSO group planned to write a “Safety  Video Script” to ensure all points of rifle safety, event rules, and all Covid-19 mandates were addressed in detail to each group. There were morning and afternoon shooting sessions each day.In order to produce the “RSO Safety Video” we enlisted the help of John Concannon, a long time video production expert and producer of “Ruby’s Outdoor Rendezvous” website along with Ruby’s hunting and fishing video programs.

John is very familiar with all aspects of Industrial Safety Programs and he and partner, Joe Workosky, have worked together, in this field, for decades. Click the link below to view the Jerome Jr. Rifle Team’s RSO Video program.

Jerome-4-H Team Wins GOLD in Nebraska

Four members of the Jerome Junior Rifle Team traveled to Grand Island, Nebraska on June 19, 2021 for the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships. The week long event attracted more than “600” 4-H shooters from all over the United States.

The Somerset County 4- H Rifle Team won First Place in the 3-Position (3-P) category and the team also won a Third Place medal for high overall score in the small-bore competition and a Fifth Place in the steel-silhouette competition. Ruby, Haley, Nicole and Elissa.

Ruby Korenoski, Haley Fetterman, Elissa Barron, and Nicole Rininger make up the “Four Person” 4-H small bore rifle team. Barron and Rininger are both North Star High School students. Korenoski is a Conemaugh Township High School student and Fetterman is a 2021 Conemaugh graduate.

The teammates qualified to participate at the 4-H National Championships by winning the Pennsylvania State 4-H, 3-P Championship last April. That event was held at the Shenecoy Shooting Range near Huntingdon, PA.

Practicing is street clothes was the rule for two of the 22 Caliber competitions in Nebraska. Their 3-P leather coats and pants were NOT allowed. That gear would only be used in the 3-P event.

The four ladies started practicing in early spring with bolt action and auto-loading rifles that were new to them all. The Nebraska event was all outdoors, but during rain days back home the team practiced indoors with their scoped mounted rifles.

Team shot with Coach, Mike Knapp, at Opening Night Ceremonies near center stage at Nebraska’s Heartland Events Center. .

Each Team was able to have a photo taken with their State Flag. After the Official Start of the event, including the singing of the National Anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance and the 4-H Pledge all the State teams were introduced and filed into the arena.

There were 32 State 4-H Chapters represented at this national event . There were 600 shooters, plus coaches, officials, volunteers, parents, family members and spectators. Several thousand people filled the stands.

Mike Knapp was happy to return to the 4-H National Championships and reunite with some of the Range Officials he’s met in the past. Knapp was proud of his 4-H group and he had confidence the girls would do well during this high level of competition.

The Range Safety Officials gave an in-depth account of the rules for the Three Rifle Category. It was standing room only.

None of the Somerset 4-H team members had ever shot in competition with a scoped rifle before or shot steel silhouettes or competed in rapid fire events. This was unfamiliar territory for them.

On Day One of the championships, 21 teams, including young men and women from across the U.S. shot at steel silhouettes representing chickens, hogs, turkeys and rams. The steel targets are set up at ranges of 40, 60, 77, and 100 yards. Steel targets have to be scored and reset.

This event requires bolt-action rifles or semi-auto loaders with variable-power scopes. There were 80 individual marksmen from 21 States registered for the three days of 22 caliber relays.

The Nebraska winds were a real challenge for all the competitors on the day of the actual match. Even though our team was a bit disappointing by their overall score, due to the tough conditions, the Somerset County “Four” 4-H team still came in Fifth Place.

The Yellow Ribbons for Fifth Place put a smile on their faces and gave them a confidence boost for the rest of the competition. Even Parents and Grand Parents were smiling.

On Day Two of the championships, the ladies fired 22-caliber Ruger auto-loading 10-22 rifles at paper targets in the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) match.

This is a slow-fire and rapid-fire event at ranges of 25 and 50 yards. This style of rifle and timed event is new to these ladies, who have years of experience with bolt-action target rifles. When scores were tallied the Somerset Four found themselves in 10th Place.

After an intense, timed fire and rapid fire event, the shooters took a break to enjoy a few milk-shakes and smoothies from the Ice Cream Truck.Day Three of the championship competition posed a familiar style of shooting for this team. The members each have their own target rifles and all have won numerous competitions and awards in the past in this Olympic style, Three-Position (3-P) open sight, 50 yard event.

Fetterman and Korenoski are both members of the Conemaugh Township High School Rifle Team.

Haley is a recent 2021 graduate of Conemaugh Twp. and Ruby will be a Senior there this fall.

Elissa Barron will be a Senior this fall at North Star High school and is a top shot on her High school Team.

Nicole Rininger will be a Junior this fall at North Star and she is also a consistent top shot on the North Star Rifle Team.

When the shooting was over these 4-H Four from Somerset County came away with the “First Place” GOLD. Congrats to the team and Coach Knapp.

The coach of the 4-H team, Mike Knapp of Hooversville, Pennsylvania, was proud of his group as they powered through difficult weather conditions to pull out a National Championship. “Our ladies were poised, confident and successful and I knew they’d do well here in Nebraska.”

Knapp said. “Adversity is part of this game and Elissa, Haley, Nicole and Ruby handled themselves in a professional, well trained manner.”

When it was all over with the Awards and photos, we had some time to get together and reflect on our week long Nebraska Adventure.

A final photo before leaving our  4-H “Team Hotel” in Grand Island, Nebraska. It was a very good week!

Shenecoy Match with our 4-H FOUR

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.

WestPAC Honors Jerome Team Shooters

The Jerome Jr. Rifle Team has “Five Hot Shots” who have been recently named to the WestPAC – All Conference Rifle Squad. Congratulations go to; Elissa, Haley, Nicole, Ruby and Sierra for their fine shooting and maintaining outstanding scores throughout their High School Season. It’s quite an honor to be recognized by the WestPAC organization. We are proud to have these young women on our Jerome Jr. Rifle Team.

Men’s Top Three Jr. Olympic Rifle

The frigid weather conditions in February didn’t hamper the 50 Small-bore shooters and the 65 Air Rifle shooters from driving to Somerset County, from all over Pennsylvania, to compete in the 2020-2021 PENNSYLVANIA JUNIOR OLYMPIC STATE SMALLBORE & AIR RIFLE CHAMPIONSHIPS (JORC) held at the Jerome Sportsmen’s Indoor Range.

The Jerome Scoring Staff is pleased to report the Official Scores from the “Men’s Events” in both the Small-bore – 22 Caliber and the Air Rifle -177. Caliber events. Below are the “Top Three” in each.

The “Top Three” marksmen in the Men’s Smallbore Division are, in order, Griffin Lake, Hayden Bell and Joshua Potts. These three young men dominated their division, among 59 other shooters, and they also show up in the “Top Three” of the Air Rifle Division.

In First Place is “Top Shot”, Griffin Lake of Emmaus, PA. Griffin is a member of the Ontelaunee Jr. Rifle Team and he shot a high of 574-20 with his Walther 22. caliber target rifle. He’s (above) collecting his thoughts during the prone position phase of competition.

Griffin (on left) is shooting in the kneeling position next to his team-mate, Jackson Wall, during the small-bore rifle segment of the competition.

Hayden Bell came in Second Place with his score of 570-21 and he is from Kennerdell, PA. Hayden is a member of the Oil City Rifle Club.     Hayden is shooting prone in the photo below.

We are often asked if scopes are used on the target rifles? No, the spotting scopes are for checking each shot by the marksmen. Hayden Bell, above,  has his scope positioned closely, in some photos the scope may appear to be attached to the rifle.  All competitors are using open sights, aka, peep sights.

Joshua Potts rounded out the “Top Three” for a Third Place finish with his score of 564-13. Josh is from Ephrata, PA.  Josh is standing at center of photo and he is a member of the Palmyra Sportsmen Assoc. Josh is on the left in the photo below.

In the JORC Air Rifle Division, the same three marksmen came in on top, but in different order.

Joshua Potts came in First Place in the Air Rifle Division with a score of 586-30. Second Place went to Hayden Bell with a score of 579-29 and in Third Place was Griffin Lake with a score of 574-26. Congratulations to these “TOP THREE” competitors for their strong finish in the Jerome Jr. Olympic Rifle Championships.

Where’s Bruno?  Before departing the Jerome Range, the Palmyra Rifle Club took the time to pose for a ‘Team Group” shot. Our Jerome Team Mascot, Bruno, had to get in the photo to distract some of the Palmyra team members. He’s gotta be in pictures.


Jerome Jr. Olympic Women’s Top Scores

The Jerome Jr. Rifle Team wants to thank all the competitors, coaches, parents and spectators who attended the our 2020-2021 PENNSYLVANIA JUNIOR OLYMPIC STATE SMALLBORE & AIR RIFLE CHAMPIONSHIPS (JORC). You all contributed in making this event a total success for our Jerome Sportsmen’s Club and our Jerome Jr. Rifle Team.

It was a daunting task for our group, at the Jerome Sportsmen’s Club, to be the “Host Site” for this statewide competition and we are pleased to finally report the first of the Official Scores from the “Women’s Events”.

In the “Women’s Smallbore Division” competitors use 22. caliber rifles, firing Long Rifle ammunition. The First Place finish was nailed down by Genna Sowers of Dallastown, PA. Genna shot a high score of 571-20 to secure her top spot. Genna shoots for the Seitzland Sting Rifle Club and is a Junior in High School.

Most all competitors shot in both the 22.Caliber long Rifle and the 177.Caliber Air Rifle relays, so some photos of the “Winners” may include their rifle from the other division.

Our own Jerome Team member, Elissa Barron, shot a very fine score of 563-26 to come in at Second Place in the Junior Olympic program. Elissa lives in Hooversville, PA and is also a “Top Shot” on her North Star High School Rifle Team.

The Third Place goes to Emma Rhode, an experienced marksman from Kempton, PA, where she is a member of the Ontelaunee Jr. Rifle Team. Emma fired a 562-19, but did even better in the Air Rifle Division.

There were a total of 59 shooters in the Smallbore Division and 65 shooters in the Air Rifle Division. This level of statewide competition is very intense as these students are focused on getting that highly-prized invitation to compete in Colorado at the Olympic Center this summer.

In the “Women’s Air Rifle Division”, a familiar name came up again. Emma Rhode locked down the First Place spot with her score of 582-34.


Emma is from Kempton, PA and is a member of the Ontelaunee Jr Rifle Team.

In Second Place, Lily Cicatella, from Franklin, PA shot a score of 578-30. Lily is a member of the Oil City Jr. Rifle Club.

Emily Marne, from MT. Pleasant, PA shot a score of 575-26 for a Third Place finish. Emily is a member of the Mt. Pleasant Area Shooting Academy.

Scoring was an important and precise activity at the JORC and Mike Knapp, Craig Sprock, and Steph Boring were at the Orion scoring system, non-stop, through out the matches. When all shooting was completed scores were sent to USA Shooting for confirmation and ranking.

Those with highest scores can earn invitations to compete in the National Junior Olympic Rifle Competition Center, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This event annually attracts top shooters from all over America. Exact dates of this competition will be announced later this spring. Watch for the “Men’s Smallbore and Air Rifle Scores” coming soon.


North Star Rifle Members Shine

The Jerome Jr. Rifle Team has three “TOP SHOTS” (from the North Star High School Team) on our Jerome Jr. Team.  Nicole Rininger, Elissa Barron, and Zach Tedrow. They are all N.S. team mates and have recently completed a successful H.S. year. Nicole broke a N.S. School Rifle Record and she also took Second Place in the individual rankings for the 22. cal. PA Smallbore Championships. Nicole was in a virtual tie for First Place  in the PA Smallbore event with Lily Cicatella of Franklin. Nicole shot a 572-18x and Lily just edged her out with a 572-20x score.  Elissa and Zach helped their Air Rifle Team to a Second Place finish in the PA State Championships in Everett,PA on March 5th. Elissa was ranked in Fourth Place in the individual Air Rifle Division. That score was out of a field of 38 of the best rifle shots in the State. It’s great to have these sharp-shooters on our Jerome Jr. Rifle Team!  Best of Luck with the up-coming .Jerome Jr. Rifle Season

PA Junior Olympic Rifle Competition Starts

The “Kick-Off” weekend for the 2020-2021 Pennsylvania Junior Olympic State Rifle Championships, held at the Jerome Sportsmen’s Association indoor range, is now in the books.

This was the first such event ever held at the Jerome Sportsmen’s facility and Coach Rininger complimented his all-volunteer staff for keeping the registration and all other phases of the matches moving smoothly.

Mrs. Barron and Mrs. Rininger were stationed at the registration table the entire weekend logging in the teams and entering their “USA Shooting” information. The ladies answered questions and informed all participants about their shooting lane positions and time slots.

Five members of the Everett High School Rifle Team signed up for the match and two team members of the Seitzland Sting Rifle Team from East Freedom, PA were also on the schedule.

Sienna Chippie, Jerome Jr. Team member, along with her teammates shot in both the 22. Caliber and the 177. Caliber Air Rifle events on this opening weekend. Later, our Jerome Jr. shooters will be on hand as volunteer-workers for the rest on the competition.


Above are, Hanna, Elissa, Nicole, Ruby, Issac, and last shot is Zach, alone on the range.

Following Covid-19 guidelines all those entering the facility had their temp taken and logged in by Mrs. Klingenberg. This technique also takes a good aim and a steady hand. Don’t move Haley!

Thanks goes out to the “Target Girls” for passing out the bar-coded paper targets and backers to each shooter as they prepared to head for the range.

Another big thank you to all the members of the cleaning crew (made up of Jerome Team members and parents) for wiping down surfaces, brass pick-up, trash removal, swabbing the deck, and other housekeeping assignments.

The Range Safety Officers (RSO’s) started each match with a 5-minute video covering the special rules for this event.

The Range Safety Officers are a vital part of these competitions because a match cannot be held without a certified RSO on site.

After the safety video, Don Hammer, the RSO, added additional insight and tips for the shooters not familiar with this Olympic style format. Don is with Shanksville Stonycreek Rifle.

We have to thank these RSO’s; Don Hammer, Dave Strayer, Terry Altimus, and Craig Sprock for devoting their time, for this PA State Jr. Olympic competition.

Coach Rininger stated, “They all did a great job keeping the firing line safe and keeping the matches starting right on time.” He added, “The RSO guys all did a commendable job.”

The new Jerome Jr. Rifle Team Banner was displayed over the doorway to the range, welcoming all participants.

Thanks to Scott and Angel Mader for the Flat Screen and the wireless hook-up in the main lobby area. Great for parents and staff so they could keep up on the latest rifle results, individual and team scores.

Our team mascot “Bruno” was on hand as the team’s emotional support dog and he received much attention from most of the dog lovers in attendance.

Yes, temps were mandatory for all entering the building.

The JORC will continue for the next two weekends. When concluded, the official standings and an updated report will be posted here with a series of photos covering the entire competition.


See you at the registration desk next weekend for Part Two of the PA Junior Olympic State Rifle Championships. It’s not over till…



J-Town Tribune Promotes Jr Olympic Event

Great to see an article featuring our Jerome Jr. Rifle Team event. Making the Front Page of Sports is a great way to showcase our young shooters, staff and fine indoor range at the Jerome Sportsmen’s Association. We’re making the range ready for Saturday at Noon.

All the shooters above are consistently in the “TOP FIVE” on their High School Teams and have been in training, year round, for this Jr. Olympic Competition. Good Luck Girls and Guys, keep a keen eye on your targets.

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