A young Jacksonville University team competing for the last time in Division III placed among the elite at the recent ACUI Clay Target Collegiate National Championships.
The JU Sporting, Skeet & Trap Team, up against 58 other teams at the 44th annual event in San Antonio, placed third overall in Division III, third in American Skeet and third in International Skeet. The team moves up to Division II next year.
“This was a very green team, as we lost some top shooters from last year's Division III National Championship Team,” said coach David T. Dobson. “However, given the new crop of inexperienced shooters, we did very well and went to the podium three times -- very proud of this team.”
A strong team is expected to return to JU next fall, Dobson noted.
“We have some superb talent that is up and coming. The Clay Target Sports are much bigger than just shooting clay targets: we are building skills and solutions for life in terms of responsibility, accountability, professionalism, discipline, respect, manners, keeping it safe and overall character.” .
This year's Nationals Team consisted of 14 members: Justin Felker (Team Captain); Ashley Kohler (Co-Captain); Scott Hensley (Co-Captain); Eric Baker; Kara Feinstein; Leigh-Anne Edwards; Tarrant Dunford; Charlie “Bulldog” Needham; Erin Felker;
David Gonzales; Rob Searcy; Adam Granic; Dustin Mollohan; and Becky Killinger.
The Intercollegiate Clay Target Championships are the only national tournament in which collegiate shooters may compete in six different clay target events within the same program. The events include International Skeet, International Trap, American Skeet, American Trap, Sporting Clays and Five-Stand Sporting. Sponsoring partners include Midway USA, Midway USA Foundation, the National Shooting Sporting Foundation, the National Rifle Association collegiate and School Programs, and the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation.
This year’s event from March 27-April 2 was again held at the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio. Members of the USA Shooting Team (Olympic Team qualifier) and ESPN were also on hand. To learn more about ACUI and the event, visit www.ACUI.org/claytargets.
We had eight colleges and 80 Collegiate shooters compete on Saturday March 3, 2012. Congradtulations everyone on a great day of shooting! We hope to see everyone and more next year for the SE Collegiate Fall Invitational next year!
- Men's: Justin Felker (JU - Won in Shoot Off)
- Ladies: Ashley Kohler (JU - Won Outright)
- HOA: Scott Hensley (JU - Outright)
- Runner-Up: Hunter Baughman (Clemson - Shoot Off)
- Third Place: Justin Felker (JU - Shoot Off)
- HOA: Hunter Baughman (Clemson - Won Outright)
- Runner-Up: Alex Rennart (UF - Shoot Off)
- Third Place: Justin Felker (JU - Shoot Off)
- HOA: Alex Rennart (UF - Won in Shoot Off)
- Runner-Up: Justin Felker (JU - Shoot Off)
- Third Place: Gabriel Garriga (Embry-Riddle - Shoot Off)
Overall Team Ranking for top three:
- HOA: Clemson University
- Runner-Up: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Third Place: Jacksonville University
As of December 2011 the Jacksonville Sporting Clays Skeet and Trap Team is an offical Varsity Team! Congratulations Team!
NSSF's new Collegiate Shooting Sports Initiative is showing positive results in Florida as club teams and programs receive critically important financial support that is helping them expand outreach and efforts. (NSSF Video) From Intercollegate shoot at Flager Gun Club on April 10,2011.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Traci Mysliwiec
Release Date: April 21, 2011 Communications Manager, 256-7042
JU Shooting Club Wins Honors at ACUI Clay Target National Championships
Jacksonville, Fla. — The Jacksonville University Shooting Club is the Division III, National 5-Stand Sporting Clays Champion after competing in the 43rd Association of College Unions International (ACUI) Clay Target National Championships held March 31 thru April 4 at the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio, Texas. JU’s Club was also runner up in both International Trap and International Skeet, as well as placing third in American Skeet and Sporting Clays and fifth in American Trap, all Division III.
This was the Club’s first national event since its inception in the fall of 2009. There were 50 colleges that competed, broken into three divisions, and 432 individual competitors, including members from the United States Shooting Team. Being a club sport, the activity is not funded by the school so members have to pay for their own supplies, etc., but all of the schools compete as varsity teams, as the ACUI makes no distinction between club or varsity.
"We’re undefeated in regular season competition, two years running,” said David Dobson, MBA, JU adjunct professor and head coach and founder of the JU Shooting Club. “This is a big deal for JU, and I hope to get it fully funded and approved as a varsity concept for JU as it will help with recruitment and retention for the University. Students love it, and the clay shooting sports are the fastest-growing, recreational sport in the country today, and that goes for colleges and universities, as there are more than 200 universities who have Shooting Teams or Clubs.”
A professional Wingshooting/Clays instructor and local Ponte Vedra executive, Dobson holds Level III certifications from both the National Skeet Shooting Association and the National Sporting Clays Association. He is only one of two instructors in the country to hold both levels of certification.
Dobson, who is also the head coach for the Shooting Club at University of North Florida (UNF), proposed the club to JU in April of 2009. With the help of Dr. Priscilla Berry, assistant professor of business communications, the Club started in the fall of that year with the aid of a National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF, www.nssf.org) grant written by Dobson. JU’s Shooting Club was the pilot program for the state of Florida with respect to the NSSF Collegiate Shooting Sports Initiative and partners with the Club from UNF for practices.
In regional competition on April 9, JU won the Spring Collegiate Conference Shoot held at Flagler Gun Club, besting UNF, FSU, UF, Stetson, Embry-Riddle and Daytona College. The club also earned the JU Leadership Award for Best New Club in 2010 from Campus Activities.
They have earned several grants from the NSSF to put toward their practice and shooting expenses. Funding is always a challenge for the Club, as shooting facilities have fees for targets and shells, and traveling to competitions incurs additional costs.
“We’ve worked hard to raise money, but it would be such a huge relief if we had more help,” said Ashley Kohler, a junior and vice president of the Club. “We’ve gone to work at the gun show and even sold cookies, but funding is still the biggest obstacle.”
The Shooting Club at JU started in the fall of 2009 and now has 16 members. The current members on the shooting club roster are: Justin Felker - president, Ashley Kohler - vice-president, Matt Arn - secretary, TJ Urbanek - treasurer, Anthony Flock, Phillip Rowley, Arthur Pareene, Laura Wade, Alexis Crouch, Steve Lundy, Pete Sutherland, Tarrant Dunford, Michael Esposito, Charles Needham, Jacob Parr and Scott Hensley.
The JU Shooting Club also currently works to support the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP, www.woundedwarriorprogram.org), based here in Jacksonville. They wear patches on their vests and WWP hats when they compete in order to spread awareness of the WWP and its mission to help wounded vets acclimate back into civilian life after traumatic injury in combat. This cause is important to them, as a club member, former Army SGT. Pete Sutherland, is a combat veteran, Wounded Warrior and graduate of WWP “TRACK Program”. Additionally, Dobson’s nephew-in-law, Dan Nevins, is an EVP with the WWP and also a Wounded Warrior after losing his legs in combat in Iraq in 2004.
Congrations to the team for winning the Intercollegiate Trap/Skeet Shoot against Stetson University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and University of North Florida on December 4, 2010 at Flagler Gun Club. A special congratualtions goes out to our very own Justin Felker for taking overall HOA with a 90/100 for the tournament. Pictures from the event can be viewed here.
2011 tentative schedule of events for the ACUI 43rd Intercollegiate Clay Target Championships in San Antonio, Texas : Wednesday, March 30 – 3pm Registration open and squadding can begin
Thursday March 31 –
8am Registration reopens and squadding continues
Competition starts for 5-Stand and Sporting Clays Competition
Practice available for other competitions
Friday, April 1 – International Skeet Competition
Saturday, April 2 – International Trap Competition
Sunday, April 3 – American Skeet Competition
Monday, April 4 – American Trap Competition
Tuesday, April 5 – Check out and travel