March 19, 2019 - Odessa, FL
by Lisa Caplinger, Trap & Field Magazine
Florida doubles champion Matthew DeBord took home the win wiith the lone 99. This is the second year in a row Matthew has captured this title, and these are his most memorable wins. He told Trap & Field it felt fantastic. "Whenever you win something big like that, it means a lot; it's so nice to be able to compete with the best." Matthew collected six more awards, including first place among residents in the class doubles plus top junior gold prizes in the Singles Championship, class 16s, Preliminary Handicap and all-around. "l am so blessed to be a part of this sport, and I'm always happy to be out there shooting. I am thankful for the support from my family and the good Lord above."
Matthew joined the ATA in 2009. He shoots a Kolar Max TA with a ProSoft stock, and his shell of choice is Winchester AA. He has placed on the All-American team the last four years, the past three on the junior gold second team and previously on the junior second team.
His dad Steve and Tim Kuhlman helped get him started in this sport. One day Tim told Steve about 4-H shooting at Middletowvn SC. That's how it all began, and after a few years he started attending ATA tournaments when his dad got him signed up. He lived in Oxford, OH, until 2010 and then moved to Belleview, FL, with his mom Brenda and stepdad Jeff. His home club is Robinson Ranch T&S in Dunnellon in the winter months and Middletown SC in the summer months.
He is a junior at Jacksonville University, where he studies management marketing. Business communication classes are his favorite subject. "It teaches you how to communicate to large groups of people and how to speak in public," he said. His future goals include working as a sales rep in a field yet to be determined and possibly owning his own business. Matthew shoots for the Jacksonville Univelsity shotgun team. They practice all disciplines, including trap, skeet and sporting clays. "This has helped me become a better all-around shooter," Matthew said. His hobbies include golfing with stepdad Jeff. Matthew was on a pro golf team in high school, and said they really enjoy golfing together.
The thing he Iikes best abour this sport is the community of people he has met through the years. Besides his parents' support, he has also met a lot of people that have helped. "There are so many good people in this sport, very trustworthy," Matthew said.
At the state shoot he has shot with the same squad, the Robinson Ranch Crew as he calls them, for both years. Matthew said some of his greatest accomplishments include his first 200 straight in the 2015 Grand American Winchester AA Singles Class Championship, where he won the junior runnerup trophy. "That was my favorite day." He also made his way to the back fence at the 2015 Grand American with a squad full of junior shooters, all from Florida. His greatest honor was being the 2016 winner and 2017 runnerup of the Nostalgia shoot held at the Grand American. He won using a 1975 Winchester Y Model 12 he purchased from Pat Neff. "It was so much fun with great competition."
The best advice he ever received is from Tim Hunsaker, who told him, "Don't look at the 100. Take this game one bird at a time." Matt's shooting goals this year include working toward breaking 100 doubles and 100 handicap for his ATA Grand Slam. He said his favorite discipline is handicap. "It is the most challenging and comes with the greatest stories." He attended a Harlan Campbell shooting clinic and said, "Harlan helped improve my mental game."
His favorite ATA tournament is the Ohio State Shoot. "They throw great targets, and it's a fun place with such a good group of people. I always have a great time." What Matthew likes best about the ATA is the support for the youth, keeping them involved for our future, and how it holds on to the history behind the sport. His mom, dad and stepdad are a huge support.
Matt acknowledged that many have helped his game tremendously, and his best word of advice to others is to develop a mental shooting program. "So many times competitors have dropped targets because they failed to manage the six inches between their ears. Then when they drop one, it is too late. Focus on the next target."
December 3, 2018 - Jacksonville, FL
Scholars & Skeet was a private event held at the Jacksonville Clay and Target Sports complex. Student recipients and our scholarship investors were greeted by members of the five-time national champion JU Sporting Clays, Skeet and Trap Team who spent the evening with us providing one-on-one instruction for newcomers or those wishing to perfect their shot! Guests enjoyed a wide range of activities from competing in our “Best Shot Competition”, relaxing by the fire pit indulging in s’mores, or partaking in a game of corn hole! Program remarks were made by President Tim Cost ’81 and OCEARCH Founder and JU Explorer In-Residence, Chris Fischer. Coach David Dobson of the Shooting Team honored our “Best Shot Competition” winners, Jennifer Glock and Cassidy Baker ’19. Both winners had impressive shots for newcomers to the sport! Jennifer Glock, scholarship donor to six Jennifer Glock Fellows, hit her first clay on her first attempt. Senior, and the recipient of the David and Iris Julian Scholarship, Cassidy Baker won the student award for hitting three in a row!
We had a blast!
July 21, 2018 - Morengo, OH
by David T. Dobson
The ever-winning JU Varsity Shooting Team took a 6-man squad to the SCTP (www.shootsctp.org) Clay Target National Championships a week ago and took two more HOA collegiate national event titles in Handicap Trap and Trap Doubles, as well as RU in American Trap, thus making JU an unprecedented 18-time ACUI and SCTP National (Event) Champion. Matt DeBord, JU Captain, took the HOA Individual Collegiate National Champion title in Handicap Trap for the second year in a row. The rest of the members who filled out the JU squad were: Palmer Szavuly, Andrew Lackie (Team Co-Captain), Jason Holley, Gabe Nackashi and Joe Byron. The SCTP Nationals were held for the third year at the Cardinal Shooting Center in Morango, Ohio with an estimated 2,600 high school and collegiate athletes competing in the biggest-yet SCTP Nationals Championships. They were previously held at the National Shooting Complex in Sparta, Illinois.
There are NO divisional lines in this shoot – all teams compete on the same level, and JU faced off against a number of powerhouse collegiate shooting talent. JU shooters went toe to toe with some of the top shooters in the U.S. this past July and made us proud!
Collegiate shooters have 6 years of eligibility to compete in the ACUI & SCTP system from the time of their first Nationals event, regardless of Collegiate or Graduate level, making this the most competitive system in existence today – building better citizens for our future across all fronts. We congratulate ALL of our amazing Students!
There are some 350 universities and colleges with Clay Sports (Shotgun Sports) shooting programs currently across the country, and these programs boast some of the highest GPA composites in the Collegiate world. The Shooting Sports are now the fastest growing element in Collegiate Club/Varsity Sports.
Please join me in congratulating JU’s former team captain and current assistant coach, Kelby Seanor, in winning the Silver Medal at the World F.I.T.A.S.C. event in Lyon, France this past month. This is his second year as a member of Team USA, our Sporting Clays Olympic Team equivalent. Way to go, Kelby!
Many thanks to the Jacksonville Gun Club, and all of the other Clubs here and around the country who have stood behind our Youth and Collegiate shooters, as they are our future. God Bless and safe shooting!
David Dobson is one of our long-term Resident (Master) Teaching Pros and life members here at JGC. He and Addie, also a NSCA Certified Instructor, live in Ponte Vedra Beach. He is Chairman & CEO of Dobson & Associates, Inc., as well as the founder of Dobson Performance Shooting School (www.daviddobson.com), and current JU Faculty and Founder/Head Coach/Director of the JU Varsity Shooting Team, as well as Founding Head Coach for the UNF Shooting Team. He can be reached at (904) 285-9500, or via Email at Ddobsonpvb@aol.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.