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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Salem shooters to head to state finals

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Salem High School's Senior Shooting Sports team is heading to the finals, after finishing second in its regional during the Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports State Tournament. Pictured are (from left) Coach Paul Garrison, Owen Garrison, Hunter Saunders, Cody Gault, Layton York, Kullins Koelling and Coach Wendell Smith. Back row: Chuck Woodson, Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Coordinator. Photo submitted [Order this photo]
On Wednesday May 23, the Salem High School Shooting Sports teams loaded up for a trip to a range in Batesville. It is one of several practices scheduled as a junior and senior team prepare to shoot in the state finals on June 1 and 2.

"We sent two junior and two senior teams to the regionals," Coach Wendell Smith explained. "One junior team placed fourth and one senior team finished second, allowing them to compete in the state finals."

Since this is only the third year that Salem has offered shooting sports, the sport has taken hold and progressed quickly.

"We have had real good student interest," Smith said. "They take it seriously and, since we do not have any seniors on the team, we have good potential to keep getting better."

Paul Garrison, who has a son, Owen, on the senior team, is credited by Smith for getting members organized and ready for competition. Garrison has been certified as a shooting sports coach, and is Smith's assistant.

As for the teams' chances at the state finals, Smith believes they will represent the school well.

"We've got some good shooters, especially on the senior team, and they can compete well," Smith said. "It just depends on the kids and how they are feeling that day. Shooting takes a lot of concentration and a lot depends on how they stand up to the pressure."

The state tournament is sponsored by the Arkansas Game and Fish Shooting sports program.

Both teams will compete at the Remington Gun Club at Lonoke, east of Little Rock, near the Remington ammunition factory.

With nine trap and five skeet fields, the gun club is described as a top notch facility for competition.

The finals for Junior High teams is June 1. Senior team finals are June 2.

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