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Tag: Wisconsin

A True Success Story: Jack’d up for Trap

Story by John Koney

Five years ago seems like so long ago for Jack Gerstmeier. At the age of 10 1/2, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. Type 1 diabetes means that your pancreas no longer produces insulin that turn sugar and carbs into energy your body can use. It meant from now on he would require at least 4 shots a day to control his blood sugar for this chronic disease.

The diagnosis took a toll on him both mentally and physically. He quit playing volleyball and basketball because it was very hard to control his diabetes early on. He was at the age where hormones and growth spurts wreak havoc on normal middle school boys, but trying to control blood sugars while your body begins that process is a challenge all in itself. Sports were no longer an important part of his daily life.

Gradually things improved as he adjusted to his new normal. A year into his diagnosis he began receiving insulin through an insulin pump, which eliminated the 4 insulin shots each day. Things were slowly getting easier.

Knowing how important it is to be active and involved he was approached by his dad and asked if he had any interest in trap shooting. His grandparents had been league trap shooters at the Waukesha Gun Club while his dad was growing up. He was excited to give it a try. He was ready to find something he could be good at with or without diabetes.

Fast forward 3 years, Jack is now a varsity trap shooter for Poplar Creek Claybusters. He started at the intermediate level while in 8th grade. He traveled throughout southeastern Wisconsin shooting in tournaments and improving his skills that season. On June 26, 2016, he went to Rome, Wisconsin to shoot in the SCTP State Trap Tournament. He participated in the 21yd intermediate handicap and took 3rd place. This was a huge accomplishment for him in year one.

While continuing to shoot trap for a second season, he was asked to tryout for a pistol and rifle team. He joined Lake Country Action Shooters (LCAS) in late May, 2017. He immediately began practices and on June 11, joined LCAS at State in Sturgeon Bay, WI. This would be his first pistol and rifle competition and the weather provided him a great challenge. Many of the teams opted to wait out the storm. Jack’s coach insisted they persevere, if they could shoot in this they could shoot in anything. The team walked away with two 1st place ribbons for center fire pistol and optic rifle. It was quite an accomplishment in the few weeks he was with the team.

Just a short 6 weeks after state, LCAS traveled to SASP Nationals in Marengo, Ohio. With a few additional weeks of practice for Jack, his JV squad walked away with three 1st place ribbons in optic rifle, iron rifle, and center fire pistol and a 2nd place in 1911. He returned to Marengo again in October this time as a member of the varsity squad and came home with four first place medals.

To improve upon his success from the year before with Poplar Creek, Jack’s JV Squad took 1st place in the NWCTC Eastern Division Conference. Jack continued to improve, putting up some personal bests.

With all the successes with his shooting teams last season, in August, 2017 Jack received the “artificial pancreas”. This is still not a cure for type 1 diabetes, but definitely a game changer for him. His continual blood sugar roller coasters have almost disappeared. His new pump, regulates his blood sugar with the use of a continuous glucose monitor that gives his pump blood sugar readings every 5 minutes and decides to give or not give him insulin based on the numbers. He is finally starting to feel “normal” again, thanks to the latest and greatest in medical technology.

He is off to a great start again this year with both Poplar Creek Claybusters and Lake Country Action Shooters. For the first time in 2 years, he has had two 24/25 rounds this week. He is aiming for that 25/25 perfect round. He continues to work on reducing his time with pistol and rifle as he shoots at the varsity level this year. He looks forward to finishing this season strong in both disciplines, while looking ahead to the future. He continues to manage type 1 diabetes through technology and self discipline and is not going to let it stop him from achieving his goals.

Jack credits the SCTP and SASP organizations for providing alternative sports for today’s youth. The coaching he has received in both disciplines and his continued development has given him a new level of confidence. His coaching and training along with his new pump allow him to walk up to the line not as a diabetic but as a competitor just like everyone else.

Walton Added as New SASP Director of Development

The Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation is pleased to announce Mr. Kelvin Walton is joining the Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) staff as Director of Development. Walton will report to Rick Leach, SASP National Director.

“SASP is excited to have Kelvin join our staff and help grow SASP,” said Leach. “Kelvin’s past business experience as well as serving as both a SASP and a SCTP coach gives him the knowledge to explain both our youth development programs to schools, future athletes, and coaches as he works with them to get more athletes participating in our safe and enjoyable sport.”

After 20 years of full time military and law enforcement service, Kelvin spent the last 8 years as a manager with a global private security company.  He will be able to utilize his strong management, leadership and organizational skill to help grow SASP.  Kelvin is pursuing his master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in non-profits.

Kelvin was a longtime youth baseball coach and started out as a parent volunteer with SCTP and SASP. He is an assistant trap and pistol coach with Ozaukee Scholastic Shooting Sports (WI) and holds current  NRA Level 1 Pistol coach, Level 1 Trap coach, and Range Safety Officer certifications.  Kelvin has assisted with SASP and Pheasants Forever banquets.  He also works with local veterans groups and helped coordinate a fundraising trap shoot for Healing Patriots.

“I am excited to be part of SASP and promoting youth shooting sports,” said Walton. “I look forward to working with existing teams and helping new teams start up. ”

Walton’s first day with the SASP will be April 9th and he will be working primarily from his home office in Grafton, WI.

Wisconsin’s Lake Country Action Shooters capture their 4th National Title

The Lake Country Action Shooters of Wisconsin website states that it “introduces teenagers 12-20 years old to shooting, and turns them into safe and experienced shooters in a season.” That just may be the biggest understatement in the history of understatements considering they just captured their 4th consecutive National Title at the 2017 SCTP and SASP National Championships held at the Cardinal Shooting Center, July 8th- 15th, in Marengo, Ohio.

The 2017 Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) and Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) National Championships brought together competitive shooters, ages 8 to 23, from 32 states to compete for national titles in the shotgun disciplines of American Trap, Handicap Trap, Bunker Trap, Trap Doubles, Skeet, Skeet Doubles and Sporting Clays. Pistol and rifle competitors competed for steel shooting titles in Rimfire Pistol, Centerfire Pistol, Iron Sight Rifle and Optics Rifle divisions.

“Go545.com is our website and our motto,” said David Richman, coach of the Lake Country Action Shooters and father to two of the team’s top shooters, Dylan and Teagan. “We encourage our shooters to focus on control and accuracy in order to improve their overall speed. We want them to hit 5 targets with 5 bullets…as in Go 5 for 5!”

“Our team has been very fortunate and successful over the past five years, said Richman. “Part of the foundation of each of those championship teams were Dylan and Teagan Richman along with the contributions of other excellent athletes. These athletes have graduated and are no longer with us but they were part of our success. Currently there are 3 athletes part of our team since its inception (2012-13 season) they are: Dylan Richman, Teagan Richman and Alex Matson. Two athletes, Dylan and Teagan have been part of every varsity championship win. Alex was part of the varsity team for this year’s win. We currently have new athletes that are working on building their own future on the LCAS team.”

The Lake Country Action Shooters had two squads compete in four disciplines at the 2017 SASP National Championships.

Varsity Squad: Dylan Richman, Teagan Richman, Alex Matson, James Van Gilder
Junior Varsity Squad: Tarek Powell, Jonathan Steffel, Dylan Lenz, Jack Gerstmeier

The LCAS Team results were as follows:
Centerfire Pistol
LCAS V CP 177.83 1st
LCAS JV CP 297.21 1st

1911
LCAS V 1911 188.05 1st
LCAS JV 1911 426.46 2nd

Optics Rifle
LCAS V OR 151.6 1st
LCAS JV OR 209.75 1st

Iron Rifle
LCAS V IR 164.37 1st
LCAS JV IR 223.07 1st

Individual CP Awards/ placements:
CP Men
Dylan Richman – 2017 Senior Division Pistol High Male Centerfire
1st Dylan Richman
5th James Van Gilder
6th Alex Matson
36th Dylan Lenz
38 th Jack Gerstmeier
41st Jonathan Steffel
55th Tarek Powell

CP Women
1st Teagan Richman – 2017 Senior Division Pistol High Female Centerfire
When combined with all shooters Teagan placed 3rd overall.

Individual Rifle Awards/ placements:
IR Ladies
1st Teagan Richman 39.26
OR Ladies
1st Teagan Richman 39.46

Teagan Richman – 2017 Rifle High Female Overall”

According to Richman, the team got together for weekly practices during the two months leading up to the SASP National Championships. “Sometimes we shoot live rounds and sometimes we get together for dry-fire practice in one of the kids basements or garages. The parents and families are as big a part of this team as the athletes themselves,” said Richman.

“It wasn’t easy to find a place to get together to shoot live rounds for the first year or two,” stated Richman. “But two shooting clubs in our area took us in and gave us a place to practice. I’d like to thank the Oconomowoc Sportsman’s Club and Stonebank Sportsmen’s Club for giving us that opportunity.”

“We’re also extremely appreciative and thankful for the major support from the ACME Bullet Company and Jagemann Sporting Group for their sponsorship and dedication towards our team year after year.”

I asked Richman how he felt about his team winning its 4th consecutive National Title and what he had this to say, “I have been coaching for over 30 years in different sports. I am extremely proud of my athletes that I have been able to coach over these past five short years. Each athlete has made an impact and contributed in the direction and success of the Lake Country Action Shooting program. The hard work, dedication, and camaraderie that these athletes exhibited this year were outstanding. With all of these components together it has made this year very special for me. The results truly speak volumes of this team.”

Wisconsin SASP Fundraising Banquet a Success

Thank you to everyone who came out to support the 2nd annual SASP banquet that was hosted by the Ozaukee Scholastic Shooting Sports SASP team.  We had great support from our sponsors, great food, lots of fun was held by all.  Thank you to our banquet sponsors:  Cabela’s – Richfield and Newman Chevrolet.  Thank you also to all of our donors; without you, we wouldn’t have had such a great event!

 

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