Those super shooters from Harris County are in position for another national title.
Twenty-four members of the Harris County shotgun team will be among more than 2,000 competitors during the Scholastic Clay Target Program national championships July 14-21 at the Cardinal Shooting Center in Marengo, Ohio.
Last year, Harris County team members took home the program’s 18th national title as they won the Highest Overall Average award after the competitions were finished in the disciplines of skeet, skeet doubles, trap, trap doubles, trap handicap and sporting clays.
This year, three Harris County shooters were selected to attend the national championships as members of the Georgia all-state team, an honor given to the top scores in trap and skeet at the SCTP regional championships in Savannah. Parker Diehl and William Whitten were selected in trap, and Gabriel Tharpe was selected in skeet.
Gabriel qualified by knocking down all 100 targets — and William vowed to match that perfect score.
“I’m not going to miss at nationals,” William said in a news release. “I’m either going to hit the target or I’ll learn.”
Harris County’s shotgun team includes shooters as young as fifth-graders. Sixth-grade social studies teacher Angie Everson is in her second year as the team’s head coach.
“Our shooters have prepared all season for this particular competition and the chance to defend our title as national champions,” Everson said in the news release. “Our coaching staff has stressed the importance of perfect preparation — it’s not just breaking the target — it involves foot position, gun mount, matching target speed and break points. But there’s also the mental aspect of the game. Perfect preparation leads to perfect performance.”
The team is grateful for the community’s support, Everson said.
“We’re looking forward to representing Harris County at nationals,” she said.
Rookie shooter Tinsley Rigsby added in the news release, “It’s going to be fun. We want to see ‘nothing but dust.’”