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NC team on target in shooting sports competition

Reaves wins national 4-H title for sporting clays

Posted on July 7, 2021

Sports
Zack Reaves of Wilson competes in the shotgun sporting clays competition at the first day of the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships on June 22 in Grand Island, Neb. Reaves won the competition and finished fifth overall individually in shotgun.

Contributed photo

Zack Reaves of Wilson competes in the shotgun sporting clays competition at the first day of the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships on June 22 in Grand Island, Neb. Reaves won the competition and finished fifth overall individually in shotgun.

The North Carolina 4-H shooting sports shotgun team, from left, coach Jimmy Staley of Mocksville, Zack Reaves of Wilson, Luke Barker of Siler City, Tommy Fulghum of Wilson and Nathan Kiger of Nashville finished fifth in the overall shotgun team standings at the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships in Grand Island, Neb.

Contributed photo

The North Carolina 4-H shooting sports shotgun team, from left, coach Jimmy Staley of Mocksville, Zack Reaves of Wilson, Luke Barker of Siler City, Tommy Fulghum of Wilson and Nathan Kiger of Nashville finished fifth in the overall shotgun team standings at the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships in Grand Island, Neb.

Zack Reaves of Wilson competes in the shotgun sporting clays competition at the first day of the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships on June 22 in Grand Island, Neb. Reaves won the competition and finished fifth overall individually in shotgun.

Contributed photo

Zack Reaves of Wilson competes in the shotgun sporting clays competition at the first day of the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships on June 22 in Grand Island, Neb. Reaves won the competition and finished fifth overall individually in shotgun.

The North Carolina 4-H shooting sports shotgun team, from left, coach Jimmy Staley of Mocksville, Zack Reaves of Wilson, Luke Barker of Siler City, Tommy Fulghum of Wilson and Nathan Kiger of Nashville finished fifth in the overall shotgun team standings at the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships in Grand Island, Neb.

Contributed photo

The North Carolina 4-H shooting sports shotgun team, from left, coach Jimmy Staley of Mocksville, Zack Reaves of Wilson, Luke Barker of Siler City, Tommy Fulghum of Wilson and Nathan Kiger of Nashville finished fifth in the overall shotgun team standings at the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships in Grand Island, Neb.

The North Carolina 4-H shooting sports shotgun team, from left, coach Jimmy Staley of Mocksville, Zack Reaves of Wilson, Luke Barker of Siler City, Tommy Fulghum of Wilson and Nathan Kiger of Nashville finished fifth in the overall shotgun team standings at the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships in Grand Island, Neb.
Zack Reaves of Wilson competes in the shotgun sporting clays competition at the first day of the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships on June 22 in Grand Island, Neb. Reaves won the competition and finished fifth overall individually in shotgun.

paul@wilsontimes.com | 252-265-7808

It wasn’t quite mission accomplished for the North Carolina shotgun team during the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships in Grand Island, Nebraska, but it was a historic and successful performance nonetheless.

Zack Reaves of Wilson carried the banner as the 4-H national champion in the shotgun sporting clays competition while the four-shooter team of Reaves, Tommy Fulghum of Wilson, Nathan Kiger of Nashville and Luke Barker of Siler City placed fourth out of 27 in the overall shotgun results.

Reaves had the best individual showing from the N.C. team as he placed fifth in the overall shotgun standings.

“I was disappointed to see that I didn’t do as well as I know I could have, but at the same time, I know the kids that were up there,” he said. “I know what I’ve put into it, so, I can guarantee that they earned their spot up on that podium.”

Reaves posted a score of 90 on June 22, the first day of the competition. That was good enough to make him a national champion in shotgun sporting clays.

Reaves said just getting acclimated to the ubiquitous Nebraska wind was half the battle.

“Ah, well, it was tough. They set out a pretty good course on the first day,” he said. “Shooting out west is a lot different than shooting here. Out west you’ve got serious wind. Right at about 12 o’clock in the afternoon, the wind picks up to about 30 to 45 mph every single day like clockwork. When you get out there, it changes the whole dynamic when you’re shooting. I mean, it’s incredible. Somebody who can go out there and shoot 95 or 94 might end up shooting an 86 or maybe 87, just simply because of the differences on the wind.”

Barker’s score of 95 in shotgun skeet shooting on the second day of competition June 23 was the best for the N.C. team, but it didn’t even land Barker in the top 10 as he placed 13th. Reaves was next, tying three others for 14th place after also shooting a 95. Kiger tied for 19th with a 94 in the N.C. team’s final counting score.

Barker led the way in the final leg of shooting on June 24 with a 96 in shotgun trap. Kiger was next with a 94 while Fulghum supplied the final N.C. score with a 92.

After finishing fourth in the team shotgun skeet competition, the N.C. quartet dropped to sixth in the shotgun trap team standings.

The shotgun team, coached by Jimmy Staley of Mocksville, was part of the North Carolina shooting sports team that finished second in the overall standings, called “the sweepstakes,” behind Louisiana. However, the only national champions from N.C., besides Reaves, were Luke Chappin in muzzle loader and Jacob Durham, who was the top finisher in the third day of hunting skills shooting.

Reaves was delighted to be part of the N.C. contingent.

“I got the chance to actually meet a bunch of those people for the first time and they’re all great, great kids,” he said. “Everybody that I shot with, everybody that spent the time to go out to Nebraska — I mean, every single one of them — just standup people. It was nice to be able to experience people from all over the state and, you know, be 1,400 miles away from home at the same time. That was awesome. They’re all a bunch of great people.”

This was the final year of competition for Reaves and Fulghum at the 4-H level, but Reaves said he plans to keep on shooting. He is hoping to attend North Carolina State University after spending his freshman year enrolled in classes at East Carolina University. Reaves said he will try out for the Wolfpack’s club shooting sports team, but he’s already eyeing a bigger prize.

“I’m really considering going for an Olympic run in bunker trap,” he said. “That’s what they shoot in the Olympics, and I’m strongly considering it.”

Now that his 4-H shooting days are over, Reaves has a national championship to show for it as well as something more valuable.

“Just being with coaches that I was with, and having the chance to meet some of the best friends I’ll ever have in my life,” he said.

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