Shooters win fourth straight state championship

By Michelle Jones - Special to the Altus Times

The Altus FFA Shooting Sports Team won a fourth consecutive state championship at the Oklahoma Scholastic Shooting Sports Program or OSSSP State Trap Shoot in El Reno on April 13. The team shot at the regional match in Enid on March 22. The regions were divided up and shot at different locations around the state. There were a total of 186 teams that competed for the 16 slots selected to compete at state competition.

The Altus team progressed through four brackets to win the championship. After a short rain delay and the team prayed, Altus began the first round of competition, shooting a score of 224. That was the team’s highest score ever shot since the beginning of this competition in 2013. Shooting a perfect score in this round was Kody King. He shot 25 out of 25 clay targets. The second round of competition once again brought another personal high score of 229. Moving on to the next round of competition, Kody King shot his second perfect score of 25 for the day and the team finished with a score of 227.

The final round of competition was tough for Altus as they had to compete against Blair FFA. Altus and Blair often practice together at JJ’s Trap and Skeet Range. Before the final round began, Altus and Blair teams got together and all shooters, coaches and parents said a prayer before taking their shooting positions. Altus finished with a score of 230, once again beating their own personal high score. During this round Ben Brown, Gannon Smith and Baylee Cox shot a perfect score of 25.

The Altus team has proven that hard work and dedication pays off. They have been practicing five days a week after school even at times when the wind made it difficult to hit the target. The team also credits their success to Coach Lawrence Wilks, who works with the kids on a volunteer basis and travels with the team to each competition, as well as advisors Bruce Farquhar and J.C Stafford for all the time and hard work supporting the shooting sports program.

The Altus Shooting Sports Team is made up of 11 young men and five young women from the eighth-grade to 12th-grade. Members are seniors Ben Brown, Dominick Nasluchacz, Joshua Hurst, Braden Stobaugh, Nevin Lawson and Morgan Jones. Juniors are Gannon Smith and Manager Caitlin Cox. Sophomores are Justin Sward, Erin Waldroop, Karsen Weldon and Kody King. Freshmen are Baylee Cox, Harrison Holder and Dawson Loving. eighth-graders are Hunter Pence and Tori Booker.

By Michelle Jones

Special to the Altus Times

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