As is the case almost every year, Texas County was represented at the 2022 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships.
This time it was 18-year-old Case Jones, who qualified for Team Missouri in shotgun and competed at the event, which took place June 26 through July 1 at Heartland Public Shooting Park in Grand Island, Neb.
In individual competition, Jones (who graduated from Houston High School in May) placed 39th overall in a field of 124 shotgun shooters, finishing 59th in sporting clays on Day 1, 23rd in skeet on Day 2 and 29th in trap on Day 3.
In shotgun team competition, Missouri placed 16th in sporting clays, 7th in skeet and 12th in trap to finish 12th in a 30-team field.
Jones has been shooting in 4-H since he was 8, starting in .22 rifle and then transitioning to shotgun when he was 11. In 2020, he also started competing in events sponsored by the Amateur Trapshooting Association, National Skeet Shooting Association and National Sporting Clays Association. He was on the HHS FFA trap team when it was formed and remained a member through graduation.
Jones currently uses a Beretta A400 XCEL 12 gauge gun, having started with a Remington 1100 12 gauge. He has had several mentors over the years, learning different methods and stances from various 4-H instructors and coaches and incorporating the knowledge he gained to develop his own style. He has also spent many hours listening to older men from around the country and gaining tips from them.
MFA, including the Houston location and manager Darrell Scheets, was one of the corporate sponsors for Jones and the 2022 Missouri Nationals Shotgun team. There were 691 participants from 39 states competing at the event this year.
“I was thankful to be given the opportunity to shoot at 4-H Nationals,” Jones said, “as it is an honor to make the team.”
Tryouts for Team Missouri are held each October and November, with only five shooters being chosen statewide – one of them as an alternate who only shoots if a member of the four-man squad is unable to participate.
“Competition is very intense and you have to be focused,” Jones said. “I met many competitors from all states and formed many new friendships.”
Jones plans to attend the NSSA Mini-World and World Championships in San Antonio, Texas, at the beginning of October. There are also several shooting clubs in Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan he would like to visit and compete at.