May 4, 2022
Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
JACKSONVILLE — Beebe Shooting Sports’ senior Team White dethroned defending regional champion Mountain Home Bomb Squad as the best in the Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program’s North Region, while Southside Jr. Shooting Sports’ Squad A from Independence County was tops among North Region junior teams in the first weekend of AYSSP tournament action at the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation Jacksonville Shooting Sports Complex.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission-sponsored event kicked off Friday with junior shooters competing under sunny skies and in calm winds. Saturday’s senior competitors saw a threatening sky for much of the day but got their shooting in without any weather issues.
Southside Jr. Squad A’s five-youth lineup of shooters connected on 109 out of a possible 125 targets to finish two targets ahead of runner-up Pioneer Trap Shooting Buddies of Batesville. Meanwhile, Saturday’s action saw Beebe hit 231 of 250 clays to outlast runner-up Mountain Home Bomb Squad by five targets. Bomb Squad’s 226 total was one broken clay target ahead of third-place Searcy Shooting Sports Red.
Beebe was led by Caleb Barnes, who finished one short of a perfect 50 targets hit. Cole Dismang and Dylan Kimbriel both hit 47 of 50 targets for Beebe, while Chase Gains had 45 and Louden Cupp finished with 43.
The top 16 senior teams in the regional advanced to compete in the 64-team AYSSP Senior State Championship, which is scheduled for Saturday, June 4, at the Jacksonville complex:
1. Beebe Shooting Sports Team White; 2. Mountain Home Bomb Squad; 3. Searcy Shooting Sports Red; 4. Bald Knob Bulldogs Team White; 5. Batesville Pioneer Holler Trap Team; 6. Southside FFA Trap Team; 7. Bald Knob Bulldogs Team Red; 8. White County Central Squad 1; 9. Rose Bud Sharpshooters; 10. Highland Trap Shooters Team 1; 11. Conway Wampus Cats Team Blue; 12. Bergman Panther 4H Slingin’ Lead; 13. Heber Springs Panthers Team 1; 14. Southside Southerners; 15. Cave City Sharpshooters Duck Commanders; 16. Bald Knob Bulldogs Team Blue.
Landon McCullough of Rose Bud’s Bust Them All trap team did exactly that, scoring a perfect 50 out of 50 shots to qualify for the Senior Champion of Champions shoot off on June 4. Seven other seniors fell just one miss shy of perfection and a spot in the shoot off.
Southside and the other junior teams enjoyed perfect shooting conditions Friday. Asher Skipper led Southside with an impressive 24 out of 25 targets, while Ruger Puckett, Kalem Moser, Houston Clark and Hunter Bishop all posted solid scores to push Southside to the top spot with 109 targets.
The second-place team, Pioneer Trap Shooting Buddies of Batesville, had three standout shooters, with Eli McCormick, Hayes Kibe and Braydyn Crabtree all hitting 23 out of 25 clays, but the team fell two clays short of tying Southside.
Bald Knob White teammates Austin Anselmi, Michael Freppon, Eva Throckmorton, Stephen Anselmi and Asher Hale worked together to claim the third spot among the juniors with a score of 104. Freppon was another of the standout shooters on the day, missing only a single clay during the competition. No junior hit all 25 shots on Friday.
“We want to thank everyone who came out and enjoyed the day with us here at the range, and there is some real talent out there among Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports participants,” Jimmy Self, AYSSP coordinator, said Friday. “We look forward to seeing a lot of these young men and women back at the state championships and for many years to come.”
The top 16 North Region teams who advanced to the June 3 AYSSP Junior State Championship were: 1. Southside Jr. Shooting Sports Squad A; 2. Pioneer Trap Shooting Buddies (Batesville); 3. Bald Knob White Team; 4. Pioneer Trap Holler Boys (Batesville); 5. Highland Trap Shooters Junior 1; 6. Rose Bud Sharpshooters Pull’um N Break’um; 7. Cave City Sharpshooters Clays of Glory; 8. White County Central Junior Squad 1; 9. South Side FFA Junior 1; 10. Rose Bud Sharpshooters Gunnin’ for Birds; 11. Mount Vernon-Enola Claybusters Jr. High 1; 12. Faulkner County 4H Shooting Sports Straight off the Couch; 13. Clinton Shooting Sports Random Shots; 14. Searcy Shooting Sports Red Team; 15. Cedar Ridge Trap Team Junior; 16. Bald Knob Blue Team.
AYSSP tourney action resumes Friday and Saturday, May 6-7, with the West Region. Juniors compete on Friday and Seniors take their qualifying turn on Saturday, with both rounds beginning at 9 a.m. There is no admission charge, and youngsters can enjoy an archery station; fishing for stocked catfish at the complex’s pond; food, photographer and gun equipment vendors; and more. South Region teams will compete May 13-14 and East Region teams will conclude the regional action on May 20-21. After a week off for the Memorial Day holiday, the 64 remaining teams in both juniors and seniors converge in Jacksonville June 3-4 for head-to-head tournament bracket competition to determine state championships.
Complete team and individual scores are available at https://apps.agfc.com/ayssp.