Note: JU faculty member and Varsity Shooting Team Coach David Dobson reports on the team’s activities related to the Wounded Warrior Project:
Jacksonville University’s Varsity Shooting Team continues to develop its unique relationship with the Wounded Warrior Project based in Jacksonville, including recently hosting 18 veterans for clay target shooting, as well as arranging an eye-opening visit by JU staff to WWP’s facilities.
JU President Tim Cost and his wife, Stephanie, paid a visit Aug. 28 to the Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org) operations in a trip jointly arranged by JU faculty member and Varsity Shooting Team Coach David Dobson, and Dan Schnock (LTC, U.S., Ret.), Senior Director for WWP’s Soldier Ride and Special Events.
They were accompanied by JU Student Veterans of America chapter treasurer and JU Varsity Shooting Team Capt. Lissette Matos-Minehart (Sgt., U.S. Reserves), Dr. Donnie Horner (Col., U.S., Ret. and DCOB professor) and JU Chief Strategic Relationships Officer Michael Howland.
Dobson’s nephew-in-law, Dan Nevins (SSG, U.S., Ret.), an EVP at the WWP, lost his legs in Iraq while on a classified mission and credits the WWP for being a major factor in helping him recover. He has been the inspiration for Dobson’s involvement in the WWP as a volunteer since 2008.
With more than 300 veterans on the JU campus, including graduates of the WWP’s TRACK program, this was a fitting visit for President Cost and accompanying guests. JU student veterans and members of JU NROTC play a major role in the JU community, and the Student Veterans Center scheduled to open on campus Nov. 7 is a testament to their service and sacrifice.
While standing in front of the WWP display of a piece of steel from the Twin Towers — a gift to the WWP from the City of New York – President Cost remarked that it was only by a last-minute meeting change that he was spared from being in the Twin Towers at the time planes hit them on 9/11 – a sobering moment for all in attendance.
The 90-minute visit included a full tour of the WWP headquarters; an in-depth sharing of their mission, history and major players; and a stop-off at the WWP’s TRACK program facility, where Warriors spend a year rebuilding their minds, bodies and spirits. The visit was emotionally charged: one cannot set foot inside and not feel touched by the realization of the humanity for one’s fellow man and the sacrifices of our military.
A few weeks later, on Sept. 17, the JU Varsity Shooting Team and some Jacksonville veterans hosted 18 Warriors from the WWP at the Jacksonville Skeet & Trap Club, in a day of fellowship and clay target shooting.
The day provided laughs, fun and healing for all. In particular, JU Team Capt. Matos-Minehart inspired all around her. She has served in the U.S. Army for 11 years; has done three tours, in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan; and is a combat-wounded veteran. The JU Shooting team affectionately calls her “Sgt. Sparky,” and this mother of two girls is an inspiration to all of us. She reminds us that we must never forget.
We thank all of the veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.
The JU Varsity Sporting Clays, Skeet, and Trap Team dominated in the Collegiate Division of the Georgia SCTP State Championships in Savannah this month, claiming three of six individual event awards and winning first place in the Collegiate Skeet event and second in the Collegiate Sporting Clays event.
Captain Scott Hensley started off the morning June 15 with a strong score in sporting clays that netted him the title of Georgia SCTP State Sporting Clay Collegiate Champion. Mike Esposito and Lissette Matos, also team captains, recorded strong scores in sporting clays, with the Dolphins finishing second as a team.
The afternoon kicked off the skeet portion of the championships. Again, the Dolphins had strong performances that landed them the Collegiate Georgia SCTP State Skeet Championship title. Hensley and Esposito battled through mechanical issues on the field and scorching heat to earn two of the three awards for skeet.
Hensley finished runner-up with Esposito hot on his heels earning the Dolphins two of the three individual awards for the Collegiate Division of the championships. It was another stellar performance by the JU Varsity Shooting Team.
This past weekend, Jacksonville University & the JS&T Club hosted its fourth Jacksonville SE Collegiate Invitational (Regional) Shoot with 82 Collegiate athletes from 9 Universities attending. Clemson University took top honors, followed by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and Jacksonville University in very tight numbers . Both Clemson & JU are former ACUI Divisional National Champions. Rounding out the field were: Florida State University, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, University of North Florida, Stetson University and Emmaual College. All schools competed in American Skeet, Trap & International Wobble Trap (and the cold!) with 20 plus MPH winds. We also added a Sporting Clays event at Amelia Shotgun Sports (www.ameliashotgunsports.com), with Clemson taking top honors and Jacksonville University RU. MANY thanks to our Jax Gun Club volunteers who reffed, cooked and braved the elements to make this happen, as well as to Barbara Martin (GM) of Amelia Shotguns Sports for all of her efforts in our fist ever Sporting Clays event on Sunday!
TOP Five Placing Tourney Teams:
Tourney HOA Champion: Clemson University
Tourney RU: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Tourney Third: Jacksonville University
Tourney Fourth: Florida State University
Tourney Fifth: Stetson University
Top Five Placing Individual Champions:
High Overall Tournament MEN’s Champion (HOA): Zach Wyatt (CU)
High Overall Tournament MEN’s Champion (RU): Joe Williams (ER)
High Overall Tournament MEN’s Champion (Third): Hunter Baughman (CU)
High Overall Tournament MEN’s Champion (Fourth: Aston Player (CU)
High Overall Tournament MEN’s Champion (Fifth): Jeremy Jackson (EC)
High Overall Tournament WOMEN’s Champion (HOA): Katie Stansell (CU)
High Overall Tournament WOMEN’s Champion (RU): Catherine Blankenship (CU)
High Overall Tournament WOMEN’s Champion (Third): Corey Weigand (ER)
High Overall Tournament WOMEN’s Champion (Fourth): Erin Felker (JU)
High Overall Tournament WOMEN’s Champion (Fifth): Amy Gileon (FSU)
Medals were also awarded to the top five individual shooters in Men’s and Women’s in each of the three events:
HOA: Jeremy Jackson (EC)
RU: Joe Williams (ER)
Third: Scott Hensley (JU)
Fourth: Grant Bledsone (UNF)
Fifth: Hunter Baughman (CU)
HOA: Catherine Blankeship (CU)
RU: Katie Stansell (CU)
Third: Amanda Freeman (ABAC)
Fourth: Lori Hubbard (ER)
Fifth: Alexis Crouch (JU)
HOA: Zach Wyatt (CU)
RU: Alberto Abed (ER)
Third: Brad Parker (UNF
Fourth: Austin Rodgers (CU)
Fifth: Jarrett Lowe (ER)
HOA: Corey Weigand (ER)
RU: Katie Stansell (CU)
Third: Catherine Blankenship (CU)
Fourth: Amy Gileon (FSU)
Fifth: Julianne Evans (JU)
International Wobble Trap (Men’s):
HOA: Player Astin (CU)
RU: Hunter Baughman (CU)
Third: Joe Williams (ER)
Fourth: Alex McHale (CU)
Fifth: Gavin Royal (FSU)
International Wobble Trap (Women’s):
HOA: Catherine Blankenship (CU)
RU: Katie Stansell (CU)
Third: Amy Gileon (FSU)
Fourth: Erin Feker (JU)
Fifth: Corey Weigand (ER)
Sporting Clays (Sunday)
HOA: Clemson University
RU: Jacksonville University
Monies from the Scholastic Clay Target Program (www.shootsctp.org), funded by the Midway USA Foundation (www.midwayusafoundation.org), made all of this possible. This shoot is hosted by JU and the SCTP and is held every Fall & Spring at Jacksonville Skeet & Trap, with the next shoot happening on October 19, 2013. There are over 225 Colleges and Universities with Clay Target Shooting Teams/Clubs. ALL teams compete just like Varsity programs with no distinction, and are represented by Divisions I, II, & III, but are not NCAA (by design), depending on program size. The schools in this past weekend’s shoot are all Division II schools.
We wish to thank all of the volunteers who came out to ref, cook and run this Collegiate event – we could not have done it without you, and this shoot is putting us on the National map!
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 member here at JGC. He and Addie, also a NSCA Certified Instructor, live in Ponte Vedra Beach. He is President & CEO of Dobson & Associates, Inc., as well as the founder of Dobson Performance Shooting School (www.daviddobson.com), and current Founder/Head Coach of the JU Varsity Shooting Team and a member of the JU Faculty. He is also the Founding Head Coach for the UNF Shooting Team. He can be reached at: (904) 285-9500, or via Email at Ddobsonpvb@aol.com.
On February 3, 2013 News 4 Jax did a news peice on JU Winter Alumni Gathering (WAGs) which will take place, February 15- 17, 2013. One of the many things Alumni will be able to participate in is joining the Shooting team on Saturday, February 16. Here is the news clip: http://www.news4jax.com/news/JU-Shooting-Team/-/475880/18397152/-/fkhyh0z/-/index.html
On November 17th and 18th the Hancock Shooting Academy will be at the Jacksonville Gun Club doing an International Skeet Clinic. Vinnie Hancock, a 2-time Gold medalist in Olympic Skeet at 23! Will be at the clinic to shoot and coach along with, Craig Hancock and Frank Edwards! This is going to be the shooting even of the year. More information on times and registration coming soon!