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West Texas, Coastal Teens Claim Top Whiz Bang Honors
AUSTIN, Texas — High school students from Abilene, Knott and Port Lavaca walked away with top shooting honors after 15 leading youth shotgun shooters from 4-H Shooting Sports Clubs across Texas competed in the Whiz Bang state finals at Texas Parks and Wildlife Expo on Sept. 30.
This year's winners were Michael Hahn of Port Lavaca in the senior category; Logan Gaskins of Knott near Big Spring in the junior category; and Miles Rand of Abilene in the sub-junior category.
The top three winners were awarded Browning Gold Sporting Shotguns, courtesy of Browning Arms. Beaumont attorney Mark Faggard also provided custom-made Montana Silversmith belt buckles for each of the top three winners.
Total prizes to all contestants were valued at more $15,000 in supplies and equipment donated specifically for the event. Browning Arms also provided three additional Gold Sporting shotguns for three 4-H Shooting Sports Clubs represented at the shoot. Numerous other prizes that went to all participants included gift certificates for choke tubes courtesy of Briley Manufacturing of Houston and three automatic trap machines courtesy of La Porte, Promatic and Atlas. An additional manual trap machine was provided by Lincoln Traps. Shooting glasses were provided by Decot Hy-Wyd Sport Glasses and a custom gun case was given by Americase. Each of the fifteen finalists were provided with five cases of ammunition from Fiocchi, Winchester and Remington.
Charlie Wilson, Mobile Shooting Range coordinator for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, developed the Whiz Bang more than 12 years ago. About 25 events are hosted by TPWD each year across the state, and the top shooters are selected in three categories.
This year, there was a shoot-off in each category for the first time. Winners were announced and awards were presented by Kim Rhode, Olympic Doubles Trap Gold Medalist. The top three winners and their parents were guests at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Expo Friday night banquet courtesy of Dallas Arms Collectors Association, Inc.
The sub-junior group consisted of Dustin Butler, Boerne; Judson Chevalier, Coahoma; Chris Clark, Crockett; Kyler Ford, Burleson and Miles Rand, Abilene. Junior contestants include Harrison Chevalier, Coahoma; Logan Gaskins, Knott; J. Henderson, Mansfield; Joseph Rogers, Roanoak and Leo Ybanez, Corpus Christi. Rounding out the senior level participants were Dylan Burg, Stonewall; Michael Hahn, Port Lavaca; Tony Held, Clyde; Mark Minihan, Boerne and Joseph Schreiber, Spring Branch.
At least 10 participants from previous Whiz Bangs have gone on to shoot in collegiate level competition, and 15 have participated in Junior Olympic and International competitions.
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