JU wins 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