TPWD News Release — Oct. 15, 2007
AUSTIN, Texas —Clay target sports competitors from Corpus Christi, Alvin and Burleson took home lifetime hunting and fishing licenses as winners of the 15th Annual state Whiz Bang finals for 4-H Shooting Sports Clubs in Texas. The event was held during the Texas Parks and Wildlife Expo on Oct. 5.
Top shooters were: Leo Ybanez of Corpus Christi in the Senior Division; Zach Charbula of Alvin in the Junior Division; and Kyler Ford of Burleson in the Intermediate Division. The Sportsmen's Club of Fort Worth provided the lifetime license awards. Both Ybanez and Ford returned from last year’s competition.
Runner-up shooters in each division received Browning Gold 12-gauge shotguns. Total prizes awarded were valued at nearly $24,000, and included trophies for each place provided by Browning, three additional club shotguns by Browning; various trap throwers from La Porte USA, Promatic, R&R Trap Sales and Service, and Lincoln Traps. The top three place winners also received Montana Silversmith belt buckles donated by Mark Faggard.
Other winners received gift certificates for product; gift certificates for custom work on shotguns; private shooting lessons and gun cleaning kits by Otis. Also donated were 40 cases of ammunition from Fiocchi, Winchester, Rio and Remington, shooting glasses, travel bags from the International Hunter Education Association, and memberships to National Sporting Clays Association.
This year's event saw its first female participant, Sierra Stokes of Ozona. The 15 shooters competing in the finals represent 4-H Shooting Sports in their local areas.
In addition to the 4-H Shooting Sports program, TPWD is working with area schools to bolster youth clay sports participation through a new pilot program. The Clay Sports in Schools pilot, designed to introduce 6th through 12th grade level youth to competitive shotgun clay target shooting, will be offered in participating schools throughout the state, beginning with the Ag. Science 381 Wildlife and Recreation Management curriculum in high schools.
At least 10 participants from previous Whiz Bangs have gone on to shoot in collegiate level competition, and 15 have participated in Junior Olympic and International competitions.