Under the leadership of coach Donald Kerce, Zion Christian Academy Shooting Team had a huge showing at the Junior Olympic Match held this past weekend.The event, which was headlined by Representative Sheila Butt and sanctioned by the United States Olympic Committee, attracted nearly 100 shooters (grades 4-12) from as far away as West Virginia. Our very own Fayth Layne (seventh grade) brought home the bronze in her division with an invitation to compete at Nationals, to be held this summer at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Crews Bassham (eighth grade, ZCA) and Hayden Demastus (seventh grade, Culleoka) also qualified to shoot at nationals with additional high scoring honors.The Zion Christian Academy Shooting Team, which shares composite membership with students from Culleoka, had a phenomenal match under some of the most challenging conditions on record. We applaud our shooters:Alejandro Almazan, Crews Bassham, Ryder Bassham, Will Boles, Bethany Bull, Caroline Cashion, Hugh Crane, Hannah Demastus, Hayden Demastus, Ellie Huddleston, Fayth Layne, Nathan MacPherson, Gunner Schmidt, Ben Seaton, Jake Skidmore, and Hayden Wright.
Zion's Shooting team was formed in 2009 by Coach William Dunnebacke with both Zion and non-Zion students. He coached two years before turning the team over to Randy Gray. Randy coached the team for 9 years and during that time they won the 4-H State Championship, several regional skeet championships, and a state skeet championship, as well as the state silver medal in IA advanced trap. At the State Championship, the teams won both the high team and high squad awards as well as the gold silver and bronze individual awards.Some of the top shooters were during Randy's tenure were Dillon Hughes (on regional and state winning JV skeet team) Gold Medal Individual; Matthew Gray (on regional and state winning JV skeet team) Silver medal Individual. Matthew also place 2nd in the state SCTP (scholastic clay target program) trap as an individual; Payton Stinnett (on regional and state winning JV skeet team) Bronze medal Individual; Caleb Clark (on regional and state winning IA skeet team and state 4-H championship team); Blake Lewis (on regional and state winning IA skeet team and state 4-H championship team) Gold Individual; Shane Profitt (on regional and state winning IA skeet team and state 4-H championship team) Silver Individual. Wilks Halliday won Individual Gold in Skeet.Wilks, Matthew, Peyton, and Caleb all attended Zion.
Randy relinquished the coaching position to Keli Clark with Don Kerce as assistant. Don took the reins in 2016 and still coaches the team with such able bodied assistants as Tanonni Garner, Mike Bassham, Steve Seaton, Reagan Bull and Mark Cashion.
After Kerce assumed coaching status, the team won many other championships and awards. Most of our shooters excel in Trap with one shooter (Fayth Layne) excelling in International Skeet.
The list of championships this past year includes Ellie, Caroline and Fayth attending the SC
TP nationals in Marengo, Ohio. Fayth also went to the Olympic training center and won gold in her division.
Well done, Eagles!