The 54th Annual Daisy National BB Gun Championship was held last week in Rogers, Arkansas. Sixty-four teams from across the nation participated in the four day competition. Over 427 shooters made up the 64 teams. Daisy National BB Gun Tournament requires qualification in State tournaments. Boys and girls ages 8-15 compete by shooting a five meter target in prone, standing, sitting, and kneeling position. In addition to shooting skills, the team members take a 50 question written test on gun knowledge, safety, technical skills, and tournament rules.
South Dakota was well represented this year by bringing home three of the top four places in the team event. The Pierre Junior Shooters brought home the Gold and title of National Champions by edging out Walton County of Monroe, Georgia. Walton County took home second place and the silver medal. Marshall County of Britton finished in third place. The Humboldt Sharpshooters of Hartford rounded out the top four. The Pierre Junior Shooters have also brought home the National title in 2017, 2016, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2008, 2005, and 2004 – as well as placing in the Top Ten in many other years.
Members of the Pierre Junior Shooters team were Rylie Stoeser, Griffin Gates, Jenna Kruger, Skyler Ruth, Sam Sterling, alternates Marlee Shorter, and Ireland Templeton, and Jasmine Hays competed in the Match of Champions. The team is coached by Jonathan Hays and Sean Kruger.
A very important part of the competition is the Safety Test. The test makes up one-fifth of the teams final score. The Paul Tiefer Memorial trophy is awarded to the team with the highest combined test score. History was made this year. It was the first time three teams tied for this honor. The exciting part was the three teams where all from South Dakota. The Pierre Junior Shooters, Marshall County and Humboldt Sharpshooters shared the stage after scoring 496 out of a possible 500. Rylie Stoeser, Jenna Kruger, Griffin Gates, and Ireland Templeton all had a perfect 100. Skyler Ruth, Sam Sterling, and Marlee Shorter scored a 98.
Rylie Stoeser led the way for the Pierre Junior Shooters with a sixth place finish. Griffin Gates placed eighth, while Jenna Kruger placed 11th. Skyler Ruth placed 31st while Sam Sterling placed 48th. Ireland Templton placed seventh in the Alternate Division, while Marlee Shorter placed 13th. 107 shooters competed in the Alternate Division. Jasmine Hays finished 24th in the Champions division out of 53 returning Champion shooters.
The Pierre Junior Shooters are comprised of over 60 8-15 year olds. They will begin practicing and studying again in January.