Good Shots: 4H Teens Head off to National Championships

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Two Eastern Shore teens are going to the National 4H Shooting Championships in June, thanks in part to members of the Talbot Rod and Gun Club. On May 10, the Club presented a check for $2500 to Megan Watts and Brock Harris, who won places on the Maryland 4-H shotgun team. They will join P J Hinch from Frederick County and Gavin LaSalla from Cecil County to form the Maryland 4-H shotgun team and fly together to Grand Island, Nebraska at the end of June. The Talbot Rod and Gun Club’s contribution will cover part of their travel expenses.

Club President Joe Cappozoli explained the Club’s support, saying “It is really important that we encourage and support youth in shooting sports. Megan and Brock have been shooting at our club since they were little kids. Young shooters like Megan and Brock represent not only the future of our sport but will also help propagate the longevity of this club.”

Megan and Brock are true natives of the Eastern Shore, being descended from early settlers.

Megan lives in St Michaels and is the 9th generation of her family to live on the Eastern Shore, descended from John Watts to came to Oxford as an indentured servant. She graduated from Saint Michaels High School last year and is attending Chesapeake College intending to study in their Allied Health program. Megan’s mother, Roxane Watts, said that Megan started shooting at age 8, and that she encouraged Megan to shoot with the 4-H because knew that the 4-H’s intensive safety training would keep her from getting hurt. According to Don Proctor, a Talbot Rod and Gun Club member who has helped Megan with her shooting, “Megan is totally committed to the shooting sports, and her dedication paid off when she was the only female invited to compete for a place on the state team.”

Brock lives with his parents on Harris Farms in Caroline County, which has been in their family since 1832. He attributes his interest in shooting to being an avid hunter. Brock is a senior at Colonel Richardson High School in Caroline County and intends to join the Army Medical Corps to train as a combat medic after he graduates. Club member Scott Patrick said that “Brock shows that on the Eastern Shore it is still possible to grow up learning the skills that made American citizen-soldiers the best riflemen in the world.”

The four members of the Maryland team were chosen based on their scores in shooting trap, skeet and sporting clays, on interviews with a panel from the University of Maryland, and on a written resume that they submitted after being chosen as finalists for the team. To be eligible, they had to shoot a cumulative percentage of 82% or better in the three disciplines of trap, skeet and sporting clays. They will compete individually and as a team in the national championships, where they will shoot 100 targets each day against teams from 25 other states. Jack Kemp, the 4-H team coach, says that the qualifiers for the team have been shooting all over the state for practice since October, so that they will be ready for the unfamiliar surroundings of Nebraska. From now on, he will keep them all practicing three times a week getting ready for the event.

 

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