While it wasn’t done in consecutive years, the Louisiana 4-H Shooting Sports Program has once again been crowned national champions and defended the title it won in 2019.
Each June, 4-H shooting sports participants meet in Grand Island, Nebraska, to take part in the shooting sports national championship. This year, 593 competitors from 32 states gathered to compete in several disciplines, including archery, muzzleloading, shotgun and small-bore rifle.
The Louisiana team consisted of 36 students representing nine teams. Eight teams placed in the top five of their respective disciplines. One individual was crowned national champion, and two groups captured the national titles in team competition.
Harold Seguin, a volunteer coach for archery, said being part of the national championship is rewarding, but it is not his primary goal.
“It’s very satisfying to come home with the trophy,” he said. “But it’s just as satisfying to get the competitors to do their best and reach their full potential.”
Seguin got involved with the program 10 years ago when his children started competing, but he continues to remain as coach even after they finished competing.
“Every kid is different, so it takes some patience because they each learn differently,” Seguin said.
Seth Montgomery, of Lafourche Parish, placed first in the archery compound bow competition.
In the team category, the small-bore rifle group of Aidan Cole, of Ascension Parish; Kensli Dumas, of Desoto Parish; Julia Johnson, of Ouachita Parish; and Charles McLemore, of Union Parish, were the overall winners.
Dusty Dumas served as the volunteer coach of the small-bore team. Serving as the coach was an easy decision for her.
“My daughter started five years ago, and I couldn’t go on the range with her,” Dumas said. “I asked what did I need to do? So, I decided to take the courses that would allow me to get inside.”
Dumas said that shooting sports is another outlet for students who may not be geared for traditional team sports.
“It’s an individual event, but it’s also a team sport,” Dumas said. “Our team in Desoto is like a family. For those that stick with it, I’ve seen them develop so much confidence.”
The team of Adam Hubbell, of Lafourche Parish; Aiden Jones, of Bossier Parish; Seth Montgomery, of Lafourche Parish; and Jesse Walker, of Tangipahoa Parish captured the title in archery compound bow category.
The event was cancelled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Louisiana was able to capture a second title in a row in 2021.
As the state shooting sports coordinator, I am proud of what the program competitors and volunteers have accomplished.
This is the most well-rounded team that Louisiana has brought to the national championship. The work their coaches, volunteers and parents have done is phenomenal.
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