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Illinois teens aim for fun, sportsmanship on national stage

A group of kids holding a banner up

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. – Qualifying Illinois 4-H youth represented the state on the national stage at the National 4-H Shooting Sports Championships held June 26 to July 1 at the Heartland Events Center on the Nebraska State Fairgrounds.

Thirty-nine states were represented at this event with nearly 700 4-H competitors. National competitions give 4-H youth the ability to exhibit their hard work and sportsmanship at a national level.

“The competition skill levels on display at this national event are jaw dropping, yet the camaraderie, high integrity sportsmanship, and overall family atmosphere make this event second to none,” says Curt Sinclair, University of Illinois Extension 4-H youth development specialist.  

While competition is the focus, youth also further develop sportsmanship and teamwork skills through the experience.

“Many of our Illinois 4-H team members finished their week scoring their personal bests and everyone had a tremendous time meeting new friends,” says Sinclair.

National 4-H Shooting Sports Ambassador Braden May of Massac County gave the coaches’ oath at the opening ceremonies in front of 5,500 people. Throughout the five-day competition, each discipline then faced three different days of competition with three different types of shooting before individual and team scores were announced.

The air rifle team of Morgan Drosz, Dewitt County; Michael Perkins, McHenry County; Carson Underwood, DeKalb County; and Jacob Schaper, Madison County finished 17th.

The small bore rifle team of Gloria Bremer, Madison County; Braden May, Massac County; and Benaiah Bremer, Madison County finished 11th.

The shotgun team of Byron Diprima, Hancock County; Owen Dye, Mason County; Carson Stuckle, Fulton County; and Jacob Yaste, Fulton County finished 25th.

Youth interested in learning more about Illinois 4-H’s shooting sports programming should contact their local Extension office.

The Illinois 4-H Foundation and Illinois Farm Bureau provides support for the Illinois 4-H shooting sports program.

For more information, please contact:

Source: Curt Sinclair, Illinois 4-H Shooting Sports Coordinator,

Writer:  Carissa Nelson, Media Communications Manager, 4-H State Office,

About Illinois 4-H: Illinois 4-H is the flagship youth development program of University of Illinois Extension and administered through the College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences. 4-H grows true leaders, youth who are empowered for life today and prepared for a career tomorrow. The hands-on approach in 4-H gives young people guidance, tools, and encouragement, and then puts them in the driver’s seat to make great things happen. Independent research confirms the unparalleled impact of the 4-H experience, demonstrating that young people are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs. 

About Extension:  Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.