This past weekend, March 16, the Scholastic Pistol Program (SPP) held its inaugural Collegiate National Championships at FT Benning, GA. This event was hosted by the United States Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) and saw eleven squads vying for titles in both the Varsity (centerfire) and Junior Varsity (rimfire) divisions.

Newcomer, University of Kentucky, took first place honors in the Varsity Division outshooting powerhouse Vermont by a score of 205.48 to 229.57. Texas A&M Corps of Cadets Squad 1 (234.83) outpaced Florida State (289.88) to take 3rd place. In the Junior Varsity Division, Vermont Squad 2 shot their way to 1st place with a score of 236.74, followed by Texas A&M Corps of Cadets Squad 2 (292.53) in 2nd and the Florida Gators (323.23) in 3rd place. “After a long drive down from Lexington we looked a little rusty during our practice session. I was nervous going into today’s match,” said Brandon Ironmonger, UK coach, “but we came out strong and shaved nearly 20 seconds off of our last match time. I am extremely proud of how they handled the pressure of shooting against some of the best college teams in the country.”

In addition to 1st, 2nd, 3rd place medals the winners also will receive special certificates signed by LTC Don A. King, Jr., Commander, USAMU. “The USAMU has always been a destination for the best shooters in our country. In keeping with this rich tradition we were pleased to host the SPP Collegiate National Championships,” said LTC. King. “It was our honor to host these athletes and I look forward to having them return to the Home of Champions.”

Working the stages for the match were Safety Officers from International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) and staffers from the GLOCK Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF) representing SPP’s growing relationships with the action shooting community. Overseeing the USAMU Krilling Range and hosting the teams were soldiers from the USAMU Action Shooting Team, including SFC William Pace, SGT Lee Dimaculangan and SGT Josh Turner.

“The USAMU Action shooting team was proud to host the Scholastic Pistol Program. There is no better place in my opinion to host this event and it allows us to connect with America’s youth and its programs,” said SFC William T. Pace, Action Shooting Team, USAMU.

SPP is supported, in part, by founding partners GLOCK, Smith & Wesson and Action Target. Additional partners include Atlanta Arms & Ammunition, PACT Timers, Tactical Solutions and Winchester Ammunition among others.

SPP is organized based on age, Junior Division (ages 12-16), Senior Division (ages 17-20) and Collegiate Division (no age limit, must be full time student). SPP is based on production centerfire and rimfire handguns firing at steel plate targets and offers an introduction to a lifetime sport that family members can enjoy together.

For additional information on the new SPP program or to register your team, contact Director Scott Moore via e-mail at jsmoore357@yahoo.com.

The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) is responsible for all aspects of the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) and Scholastic Pistol Program (SPP) across the United States, including participant registration, coaches, state coordinators, state and national championships, promotion, communications, websites, public relations and growth strategies The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation exists to raise funding and other resources for Youth Development Programs in the shooting sports industry.

SCTP and SPP are youth development programs, originally developed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), where adult coaches and volunteers model sportsmanship, responsibility, honesty, ethics, integrity, and teamwork while using shooting sports programs to teach these and other positive life skills to the athletes.

Image courtesy The Media Group

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