MARION, Ill.— Many local youth hit their mark while placing in the annual shooting sports competition in Marion. Following the 2020 summer of virtual exhibits and programs, participants were anxious to return to in-person competitions. Through the 4-H shooting sports program, youth learn marksmanship, the safe and responsible use of firearms, principles of hunting, and much more. Those that placed in this year's competition include:

Air Rifle
Grand Champion – Jayden Smith
Reserve Champion – Chase Dinga

Pistol
Grand Champion – Ragain Henning
Reserve Champion – Keaton Clodi

Shotgun
Grand Champion – Keaton Clodi
Reserve Champion – Logan Weeks

All participants received a blue ribbon for competing in the 2021 exhibit. Those include:

Air Rifle:  Wolfe Bassin, Chase Dinga, Jackson Gray, Jameson Herring, Trennis "T.J." Hudson, Holden Sargent, Jayden Smith, Rylee Wallis, Ethan Womble

Pistol: Josiah Calvert, Lucy Calvert, Keaton Clodi, Ragain Henning, Claire Lu, Matthew Minnis, Zaiden O'Herron, Nick Sloan

Shotgun:  Keaton Clodi, Matthew Minnis, Zaiden O'Herron, Logan Weeks

According to national 4-H data, nearly 500,000 youth participate in shooting sports each year.

The program relies heavily on dedicated adult volunteers willing to lead in the local county’s shooting disciplines and management. The program's activities and the support of caring adult leaders provide young people with opportunities to develop life skills, self-worth, and conservation ethics. To learn more about the shooting sports program or to join Williamson County 4-H, contact Ramona Girtman at (618) 993-3304 or girtman@illinois.edu.

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in programming, please contact Ramona Girtman at girtman@illinois.edu.Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs.

WRITER: Heather Willis, marketing and communications coordinator, hdwillis@illinois.edu, (618) 357-2126

SOURCE: Ramona Girtman, 4-H youth development program coordinator, girtman@illinois.edu, (618) 993-3304

ABOUT 4-H: Illinois 4-H helps youth learn skills for living. University of Illinois Extension provides 4-H programs in every county in Illinois. Illinois 4-H impacts the lives of 200,000 youth each year through sustained learning clubs and groups and short-term programming.

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.