Monday, August 6, 2018

Virginia Action Shooting Program Grows

By Eliot Jardines

The Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) has seen significant growth in Virginia this year. SASP was created by the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation in 2013 and consists of youth ages 10 – college competing in pistol and rifle. Athletes shoot at five steel targets that are arrayed in four different stages while timed. The program currently boasts approximately 1,200 participants nationally and 50 within the Commonwealth.

The SASP program began in earnest in Virginia in 2015 when the LoCo Motion Foundation established Team LoCo Motion in Purcellville. In 2016, the Winchester Izaak Walton League established the WIWL Blue Ridge Bullets. Each of these teams has grown significantly both in terms of numbers as well as competitive prowess. Both teams received significant support from Friends of the NRA/NRA Foundation. Three new teams are being established, two of are sponsored by the Young Marines and one by the US Naval Sea Cadets.
Members of the Blue Ridge Bullets sponsored by the Winchester Izaak Walton League at SASP Nationals.
Team LoCo Motion head coach Eliot Jardines was recently appointed the SASP State Advisor for the Commonwealth. “We are very pleased with the growth of SASP in Virginia. With the help of our steadfast supporters the NRA and the SASP national staff, we were able to pull off the first ever Virginia SASP State Match,” he stated. Held at the NRA Headquarters Range, the state match was contested in the rimfire pistol, rifle-optic and rifle-iron sights divisions. In addition to the two VA teams, an SASP team from Gaston County, North Carolina also participated. In addition to the competition, attendees were given a guided tour of the National Firearms Museum and had a chance to meet newly elected NRA President Oliver North who was on hand to welcome the competitors.
Members of Team LoCo Motion at SASP Nationals.
The culmination of the competitive season is the SASP Nationals in Ohio however and there is where Virginia’s teams have made their presence known. This year’s SASP Nationals had a record 1,200 entries, making it simultaneously the world’s largest youth action shooting event and the largest steel match in history. Given this level of competition, the Commonwealth’s teams achievements were quite remarkable.

Newcomers to Nationals this year, the WIWL Blue Ridge Bullets acquitted themselves quite well with their Intermediate (middle school) rimfire squad placing 18th out of 23 squads. The team also fielded two squads in the open rimfire division (squads with both middle and high school students), which placed 21st and 45th out of 68 squads. At the individual level, Amelia Lunceford placed 10th and Carigan Cogle placing 12th in the ladies Intermediate Advanced Division. Graceleigh, Genevieve and Emmaline Blodgett placing 14th, 18th and 19th respectively in the Intermediate Entry Level Division. On the men’s side, Talon Morris took 7th and Maccoy Gilkison took 12th in the Intermediate Entry Level Division.

Team LoCo Motion returned for its third year to SASP Nationals. The Senior (high school) squad took 9th out of 32 squads in rimfire pistol with the Intermediate squad placing 15th out of 23 squads. At the individual level, team captain Adam Jardines placed 16th in the highly competitive men’s Varsity Division, squad leader Corrine Whisenant taking 6th in the women’s Junior Varsity Division and Jack Bright taking 15th in the men’s JV Division. At the intermediate level, squad leader Ethan Jardines took 5th place in the men’s Intermediate Advanced Division while Lauren Creese likewise took 5th in the women’s IA Division. The team also tried their hand at the new pistol caliber carbine (PCC) discipline and took 5th place in the Open Division.

As the teams gear up for the new shooting season which starts in September, the Scholastic Action Shooting Program will be adding three new teams before the end of 2018. SASP is keenly interested in expanding the program outside of Northern Virginia and interested parties are encouraged to contact the State Advisor at to learn more about establishing a team, available funding and scholarship opportunities.

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