SPECIAL TO DAILYTRIB.COM
BAIRD — The Burnet County 4-H Youth Precision Rifle squad won two of the three team championships at the District 7 rifle competition April 29-30.
In addition, the team set a record for the number of individual awards, coach Guy Taylor said.
The junior team kept its streak of being the top district squad for four consecutive years. By taking the title in 2016, the Burnet County junior rifle shooters captured their sixth in 15 years, breaking the record set by Irion County, which had won five championships.
Representing Burnet County were homeschoolers Carson Moore, who is in the fifth grade, and Caden Peay, who is in the fourth grade; Marble Falls fifth-grader Bryce Atkinson; and Lake Travis fourth-grader Bethany Butler.
This junior team shot 60 points higher than its closest competitor from San Angelo and shattered team records by firing 53 points better than the 2014 team and 100 points better than last year’s squad. Both were district winners.
“None of the top five teams had such a high point spread,” Taylor said. “Our team is not only strong in depth but full of excellent shooters. No other team in our district can field a group with this capability.”
The junior class had six individual place awards out of 31 shooters. Moore was second, Burnet fifth-grader Stoney Harrell was third and Butler finished fifth. No other 4-H team took more than one award.
Each Burnet County 4-H member was part of a team championship or captured an individual award.
Moore also set a new team record by one point, breaking the old record of 173 set by Burnet graduate Bailey Lawson in 2008.
Taylor commended Lake Travis fifth-grader Elijah Butler’s ability to recover from some sight problems early in the competition.
“His training and patience to analyze the problem and work through it paid off,” Taylor said. “An inexperienced shooter would have panicked and given up; Elijah hung in there.”
The other district team champion was the Intermediate squad, which won for the fourth straight year and fifth time in the past 15 years.
First-place Intermediate team members are Llano Christian Academy’s McKenzie Boop, Marble Falls’ Bryer Atkinson, Burnet’s Axy Horner and Marble Falls’ Skye White.
This squad had the largest point spread of all the teams, beating rival Irion County by more than 174 (704-530) points.
Although record scores are not kept in 4-H matches, no one can remember any team breaking the 700 barrier in the intermediate class, Taylor said. They also shattered previous Burnet team records by topping the 2015 team score by 35 points and the 2014 team by 226 points.
The second Intermediate team from Burnet County took third place. Squad members are Marble Falls’ Collin Hughes and homeschoolers Clayton Peay and Joshua Bowles.
Burnet County shooters took five of the top six places in the individual standings.
Boop was the top shooter, while Bryer Atkinson took a close second, Marble Falls’ Collin Hughes was third, and Horner was four points behind for fourth. White finished fifth.
In the senior division homeschooler Cameron Bowles was fifth, and Austin Bowie’s Caleb Hawkins missed sixth by a few points in his first small-bore match.
The Burnet County 4-H Rifle Team not only competes in 4-H matches but in National Rifle Association matches and junior Olympic programs as well. Team members have competed across Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Georgia, Indiana and Ohio. But it takes funding, Taylor said.
If you are interested in supporting the team as a business or an individual, call the county office at (512) 756-5463. Since 4-H is a 501c3, donations are tax-deductible, and 100 percent goes to the club.