Members of the Shooting Sports 4-H Club of Ellis County competed at the Texas State 4-H Shooting Sports Games at the National Shooting Sports Complex in San Antonio, Texas, July 12-18. Leading the way for the Ellis County team was Hunter Hinz of Italy.
Hinz, age 13 and a soon to be 8th grader at Italy Junior High, placed in the medals in three events. He competes in the intermediate division with his compound aided bow. Hinz won a 2nd place finish in Field Archery, a 2nd place medal in Modified 600 and a 4th place medal in 3D. He also fared very well in Wand and Clout and came close to the coveted all-around title.
Hinz said to prepare for the state meet, he practiced several times a week in his yard by himself as well as attended weekly 4-H practices. 4-H coaches and managers are all volunteers and Hinz said he appreciates their personal time they donate to the club and to teaching him in his favorite sport.
Hinz tells a funny story about how he started the week so strong that he started getting “stalkers” or “fans” or maybe just the parents of other kids showing up at his shoot times. They would ask to meet him and wanted to know what club he shot with. Then the big question would come about who was his personal coach.
Hinz would say, “I just go to the 4-H practices and practice in my yard,” and the people would shake their heads in disbelief.
“My favorite event is Modified 600 where competitors shoot at 30, 40 and 50 yards,” said Hinz.
He and his Dad, Andy, taught themselves how to shoot the game of Clout in an attempt to vie for the all-around title. They set up a practice area in a horse pasture, read the rules and a few videos on You Tube. This event is a little more medieval and the archer shoots the arrow in an arch in the air aiming at a stake on the ground.
“We have a great group of kids in our 4-H Archery program. They are willing to learn and practice to be the best archers that they can. They make me proud to be their coach” said Ellis County 4-H Archery Coach Jered Kimmel.
Another archer from Ellis County, Katelyn Edgar, age 11 from Palmer, placed 4th overall in the Junior NASP division of Clout and 2nd in ladies.
Ellis County 4-H also had shotgun representatives at the meet with Will Perry, age 16 of Waxahachie, placing 4th in Modified Trap in the Senior 1 division.
In the Lewis Class, Michael Edwards, age 16 of Red Oak, placed 2nd in Whiz Bang Senior 1 Division, and Garret Yarborough, age 145 of Waxahachie placed 2nd in Sporting Clays Senior 1, and Blake Bauer, age 16 of Midlothian, placed 3rd in Senior 2 Sporting Clays.
“I am so proud of our kids, several shot their personal best and most showed improved scores over previous years. This is a really great group of kids and I’m very blessed to work with them.” Coach Don Williams, Jr.
Additional 4-H members representing Ellis County at the Texas State Games were:
Rachael Edgar, 13, Palmer
Wyatt Hunt, 14, Waxahachie
Bryce Winfield, 12, Arlington
Ben Terry, 18, Waxahachie
David Terry, 16, Waxahachie
Marcus Edwards 16, Red Oak
Justin Lewis, 16, Red Oak
Mason Hatch, 16, Red Oak
Jackson Sanders, 16, Crandall
Isac Bulls, 16, Waxahachie
Nathan Starkenberg, 15, Venus
Tanner Jones, 15, Red Oak
For more information regarding 4-H and it’s shooting sports program, contact the Ellis County Extension Office. The official 4-H year runs with the school year and will begin in mid August.