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Thursday, August 10, 2017

VSSA Junior Rifle Shooters At 2017 Camp Perry

By Junior Rifle Chairman Mike Darnell

Eight members of the VSSA Junior Rifle Team traveled to Camp Perry, Ohio, this July for the National Matches. All team members participated in educational clinics as well as individual and team competitions. Major matches fired included the President’s 100 Match, the National Trophy Individual Match, the National 2-Man Junior Team Match, the National Trophy Team Match (a six man team match), and the Infantry Trophy Team Match (also known as the “Rattle Battle”). Team members were lodged in both military barracks and competitors huts so team meetings, ammunition issues etc. were coordinated in advance.
Coach Steve Dvornick
Each Junior participated in either the US Marine Corps Advanced Junior Clinic or the Small Arms Firing School (SAFS) hosted by the US Army. Most of our shooters opted for SAFS since there was an opportunity to earn a reduced point "Leg" medal in the Excellence in Competition (EIC) match. Those placing in the top 10% earned 4-points towards the prestigious Distinguished Marksman badge. This year there were 430 competitors entered in SAFS and the accompanying EIC match, all of our juniors finished in the top half or better. A special congratulations goes out to Nathan Dvornick (Stafford) who finished 5th overall with a score of 387-8x and Kohl Hammer (Stafford) who finished 9th overall with a score of 385-10x, both of these young men earned the 4 Leg points towards Distinguished Marksman. Other firing members were Collin Moore (Fredericksburg) #93 with a 367-4x, Theron Hawkins (Stafford) #115 with a 362-2x, and Faith Riemer (Ft. Belvoir) #123 with a 361-2x performance.

17 July, President’s 100 Match. Couse of fire: 300 Points Possible
10 rounds standing slow fire at 200 yards
10 rounds standing to prone rapid fire (70 seconds) at 300 yards
10 rounds prone slow fire at 600 yards

The day started early - 5:15 a.m., ammunition draw at the team Captains hut. Everyone confirms they have their score cards, data books etc. before they start the long walk down range to their firing points. 1,108 Competitors (196 Junior’s) participated in the match known as the President’s 100. Not only was this a large crowd, the infamous Camp Perry winds also decided to show up and proved to be a huge challenge for our shooters. Unfortunately no one broke into the top 100 but many valuable lessons were learned by everyone on the line and shared at the team meeting following the completion of firing.
Stefan Sanchez Collin Moore Kohl Hammer
Firing members/scores:
Nathan Dvornick 273-7x, Kohl Hammer 271-2x, Faith Riemer 270-4x, Theron Hawkins 264-3x, Collin Moore 257-1x, Stefan Sanchez (Culpeper) 233-1x, Adam Hawkins (Stafford) 212-1x, and Greggory Kaczor (Culpeper) 138-1x.

18 July, National Trophy Individual (NTI) Match.
Course of fire: 500 Points Possible
10 rounds standing slow fire at 200 yards
10 rounds standing to sitting rapid fire (60 seconds) at 200 yards
10 rounds standing to prone rapid fire (70 seconds) at 300 yards
20 rounds prone slow fire at 600 yards

There were 1,042 competitors all vying for the medal bracket and the 10 point Leg associated with the National Championships. The crowd was slightly smaller but the winds picked up over the previous day. Our juniors were spread over 6 relays on two separate ranges (Petrarca and Viale Ranges) spanning nearly a mile. Ammo draw was again at my hut at 0515 hours and the shooters were off to their firing points. Competition is keen in this match as it is one of the few places in the country where every medal earned (Gold, Silver, or Bronze) is worth 10 points toward the 30 needed to become a Distinguished Marksman. The team was fired up, excited at the opportunity, and ready to go…unfortunately so was the wind. There were some great individual strings on the line but no one was able to string together an entire match score. Take for example, Nathan Dvornick, who started out with a solid 95-0x offhand, followed by a 99-3x 200 yard rapid fire score but by the time he got to the 300 yard line the increasing wind and a simple oversight took him out of contention.
Kohl Hammer
Firing members/scores:
Kohl Hammer 460-5x
Theron Hawkins 450-3x
Nathan Dvornick 440-7x
Collin Moore 435-4x
Adam Hawkins 423-3x
Greggory Kaczor 388-0x
Stefan Sanchez 321-3x
Faith Riemer 252-2x
Theron Hawkins
19 July, 2 – Man Junior Team Match. Course of fire is the same as the NTI.
1,000 Points Possible

Three 2-Man Teams were entered in this match, where the top 20 teams are recognized with the Freedom Fire Medal. Ammo issue at 0515 again, still windy but juniors have a coach on the line to assist with wind calls and time management. Our top team, VSSA-1, finished the day #19 of 74 total teams with a score of 934-18x. Firing members were Theron Hawkins 469-14x and Kohl Hammer 465-4x. Theron’s individual score of 469-14x ranked #35 of the 150 individual competitors shooting this match.

VSSA-2, team members Nathan Dvornick 466-6x and Collin Moore 418-7x came in 48th overall with an 884-13x aggregate.

VSSA-3, juniors Faith Riemer and Adam Hawkins posted a team score of 768-5x for the match.
VSSA Team Perry 2017
20 July, National Trophy Team Match (6-Man)
Couse of fire is the same as the NTI.
3,000 Points Possible

This is the biggest team match of the year. Every match our team has fired this summer has been a 4-man team match, now we have two additional shooters to add to the aggregate. Winds are gusting, targets are in the shadows as the sun rises in the east, morning colors has concluded, and then…”Team Captains, move your first pair of shooters to the firing line. Your preparation period will begin in approximately two minutes.” Slow fire stages of this match are fired with block time, coaches must monitor their time to ensure the smooth transition from one pair of shooters to the next.

Tough winds prevailed throughout the day challenging our shooters. Several noteworthy highlights. Nathan Dvornick was the anchorman for this match posting a 470-11x score for the day. Kohl Hammer struggled a little early but finished strong with a 194-7x performance at the 600 yard line and 464-9x overall. Adam Hawkins posted a team and personal best at the 300 yard line with a 98-0x and 427-4 overall. Other firing members were Theron Hawkins 457-9x, Collin Moore 420-4x, and Faith Riemer 374-3x. Team aggregate for VSSA was 2612-40x.

21 July, Infantry Trophy Team (ITT) Match
This course of fire is unique. It is a rapid fire match (50 seconds) beginning at the 600 yard line with six shooters engaging 8 targets. Teams are limited to 384 rounds for the team and coaches must determine their own load plan to optimize their score at each yard line.

Teams are awarded 4 points for each hit at 600, 3 points for a hit at 500, 2 points for a hit at 300, and 1 point for a hit at 200 yards.

The match goes very quickly but our juniors really enjoy it! After scores are radioed back to the firing line all teams move to the next yard line together, moving abreast. When called to the line they must quickly get establish their firing position for the next string, once the targets appear they have 50 seconds.

VSSA firing members for the ITT were: Nathan Dvornick, Kohl Hammer, Theron Hawkins, Collin Moore, Greggory Kaczor, and Stefan Sanchez. Team coaches were Steve Dvornick and Al Moore. Overall team score was 825 for the day.

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