Bennett County Shooting Sports participants make their mark

Bennett County sent 25 participants to the State Shooting Sports competition held April 26, 27, and 28.

Coach Gary Rayhill was very impressed with their results, “I really enjoy helping the kids. I’m thankful to have a place where we can work with so many kids.” Other coaches include Scott and Sandy Huber, Terry Laverack, and Troy Byrne.

Rayhill praised the additional help of Dave Bakley, who he said stops by to help whenever he can. “We also have many parents who are knowledgeable of the different disciplines who step up and help. That helps tremendously.”

“State competition included 2,750 kids registered, I was really proud of our kids to compete against that many kids and do so well,” added Rayhill.

The beginner (BEG) division is for ages eight through ten; junior (JR) division is for ages 11 through 13; with seniors (SR) ages 14 through 19.

Hunter Laverack qualified for Nationals in two events.  He qualified in Hunting Skills and Compound archery.  Since he can go in only one discipline,  he chose Hunting Skills.  Nationals will be held in Grand Island Nebraska during the week of June 23-28. Hunting skills consist of three testing days and three days of shooting skills. The shooting skills will be 22 rifle, shotgun, and compound bow. The test will be over game laws in Nebraska, compass skills, and identifying different birds and animals in North America using furs, tracks, and skeletons. 

Contestants are only allowed to compete in one event at the National level. Another rule that throws a twist into the plot is that a participant can only compete once in a discipline. For example, a participant may not compete in the CMP area twice, even in different years, at Nationals.

Grace Jager has earned the title of Second Alternate in 22 Pistol Teams. According to Coach Rayhill, a formula used in Grace’s scoring earned her the opportunity to attend Nationals. If two other qualifiers for the four-person 22 Pistol National Team from South Dakota decline, Grace would have the chance to go, or decline. “It’s tough,” Rayhill remarked. “They really have to be dedicated to something, and then be willing to give it up. They can still go shoot in State for medals and trophies, but can only go to Nationals once.” 

When reading the scores listed, the first part of the number, before the decimal point, is the score from their target shooting. The number following the decimal point is the number of times an X-mark, right in the center of the bullseye has been shot. Depending on the discipline, this X-mark can be quite small, and require exact precision.

22 Pistol Team

1st place, JR, 856.06, Wyatt Huber, Trey Tetrault, Dante Rascher, Adam Byrne, Blue ribbon.

2nd place, SR, 945.05, Hunter Laverack, Gage Jager, Samuel Byrne, Frank Huber, Blue ribbon.

22 Pistol Timed

2nd place, JR, 86, Dante Rascher.

JR, 75, Trey Tetrault.

JR, 75, Adam Byrne.

JR, 70, Wyatt Huber.

SR, 87, Hunter Laverack.

SR, 82, Gage Jager.

SR, 80, Samuel Byrne.

SR, 78, Grace Jager.

SR, 72, Frank Huber.

SR, 63, Henry Johnson.

22 Pistol - Bullseye

3rd place, JR, 251.05, Dante Rascher, Purple ribbon.

JR, 214, Wyatt Huber, Blue.

JR, 213, Trey Tetrault, Blue.

JR, 178.01, Adam Byrne, Red.

SR, 255.02, Hunter Laverack, Purple ribbon.

SR, 250, Samuel Byrne, Blue.

SR, 235.02. Grace Jager, Blue.

SR, 227.03, Gage Jager, Blue.

SR, 213, Frank Huber, Blue.

SR, 194.01, Henry Johnson, Red.

22 3-Position - Standing, Kneeling, Prone

SR, 466.05, Grace Jager, Blue.

SR, 439.01, Gage Jager, Blue.

SR, 409.03, Samuel Byrne, Red.

The CMP discipline, or Civilian Marksmanship Program, was created in the early 1940’s. According to Rayhill, it was designed so that the civilian population could learn riflery and safety and have the opportunity to buy some of the old army guns the government was surplussing out. “CMP was designed for these farm kids that have Grandpa’s rifle, and they want to shoot. That’s where our kids shine! Our kids don’t get to practice in an Armory. We’re out in the elements. That’s why our kids do so well!”

CMP Teams

2nd place, JR, 1898.15, Adam Byrne, Trey Tetrault, Dante Rascher, Wyatt Huber. Blue ribbon.

2nd place, SR, 2205.41, Samuel Byrne, Gage Jager, Frank Huber, Grace Jager, Purple ribbon.

Coach Terry Laverack has recently started the Air Pistol category for Bennett County. Required equipment, even for entry level, can be expensive. The club has purchased six air pistols for the club. In Slow Fire Air Pistol, the participants have 20 minutes to shoot 20 shots. In Rapid Fire they have three seconds to shoot one shot. They shoot ten times in Rapid Fire.


JR, 511.05, Dante Rascher, Purple ribbon.

JR, 504.02, Adam Byrne, Purple ribbon.

JR, 443.07, Trey Tetrault, Blue.

JR, 440.01, Wyatt Huber, Blue.

SR, 564.13, Henry Johnson, Purple.

SR, 556.12, Gage Jager, Purple.

SR, 554.11, Frank Huber, Purple.

SR, 548.1, Samuel Byrne, Purple.

SR, 547.08, Grace Jager, Purple.

SR, 521.06, Emma Byrne, Purple.

Air Pistol Teams

SR, 461.2, Grace Jager, Gage Jager, Hunter Laverack, Samuel Byrne, Red ribbon.

Air Pistol - Fast

JR, 53, Wyatt Huber, Red.

SR, 56, Samuel Byrne, Red.

SR, 55, Frank Huber, Red.

SR, 49, Gage Jager, White.

SR, 42, Grace Jager, White.

SR, 38, Hunter Laverack, White.

Air Pistol - Slow

JR, 112, Wyatt Huber, Red.

SR, 139, Grace Jager, Blue.

SR, 117, Frank Huber, Red.

SR, 109, Gage Jager, White.

SR, 107, Hunter Laverack, White.

SR, 106, Samuel Byrne, White.

Coaches Scott and Sandy Huber have led the BB Gun participants for Bennett County. We started with 48 kids, we have some loaner bb guns for kids to start. They need to be eight years old to start. They learn all the gun safety measures, with the target being 16’4” away. The target is about as big as a nickel, and the ten ring for scoring is about as big as a bb. “These kids, we work with them almost individually,” explained Rayhill. “They have to have a coach, a parent, or someone older, sit with them and load the bb’s one at a time, and then hand it to the participant.”

BB Gun Teams

BEG, 958.13, Rachel Farley, Ruger Smokov, Tyrell Pazour, Louis Novotny, White ribbon.

BB Gun

BEG, 344, Rachel Farley, Purple.

BEG, 269, Ruger Smokov, Red.

BEG, 214, Tyrell Pazour, White.

BEG, 131, Louis Novotny, White.

JR, 342, Wyatt Huber, Blue.

JR, 274, Allison Novotny, White.

SR, 356, Frank Huber, Blue.

SR, 350, Gage Jager, Blue.

SR, 314, Grace Jager, White.

Archery has eight divisions, with Bennett County focusing mostly on CWS-R, which is Compound Bow with Sights and a Release Trigger. The trigger is as assistive device that allows for precision release of the arrow.

The Open category has the big long stabilizer bars on the bow. “Absolutely everything you can add to make it a precision outfit,” as Rayhill put it. “When Hunter releases the arrow, that bow doesn’t even move. You have to trust your equipment.” 

Beginners shoot at ten yards, juniors at 15 yards, and seniors at 20 yards. It takes some adjustment to get used to shooting in a large area, rather than in the smaller confines of the local practice building.

Rayhill explained the 3-D division. “The 3-D competition at Ft. Pierre has life sized animal targets, with unknown distances. They have everything from a skunk to a T-Rex, that has a scoreable target. Full size buffalo, grizzly bears, elk, deer, antelope, every animal. It takes about two and a half hours to complete the course. 

CWS - R Teams

Compound Bow With Sights, and Release Trigger

BEG, 376.1, Rachel Farley, Ayden Amiotte, Tayce Tetrault, Blue ribbon.

JR, 400.19, Adam Byrne, Dante Rascher, Trey Tetrault, Ellen McDonnell, Blue ribbon.

JR, 392.11, Emily Zickrick, Wyatt Huber, Amya Camp, Wyatt Fransua, Blue ribbon.

SR, 417.31, Hunter Laverack, Mayson Mansfield, Samuel Byrne, Gage Jager, Purple ribbon.

SR, 350.12, Maxwell Zickrick, Grace Jager, Frank Huber, Emma Byrne, Red ribbon.

Archery - CWS - R

BEG, 133.05, Ayden Amiotte, Blue.

BEG, 128.05, Rachel Farley, Blue.

BEG, 115, Tayce Tetrault, Red.

JR, 135.03, Wyatt Huber, Blue.

JR, 134.08, Trey Tetrault, Blue.

JR, 133.07, Adam Byrne, Blue.

JR, 133.04, Dante Rascher, Blue.

JR, 130.03, Amya Camp, Blue.

JR, 127.05, Emily Zickrick, Blue.

JR, 126.02, Ellen McDonnell, Blue.

JR, 116.03, Wyatt Fransua, Red.

SR, 148.15, Hunter Laverack, Purple.

SR, 142.08, Samuel Byrne, Purple.

SR, 127.08, Gage Jager, Blue.

SR, 124.07, Mayson Mansfield, Blue.

SR, 120.04, Grace Jager, Red.

SR, 116.04, Emma Byrne, Red.

SR, 114.04, Frank Huber, Red.

SR, 108.04, Rylee Rous, White.

SR, 70, Maxwell Zickrick, White.

Archery - Compound - Open

5th place, SR, 148.18, Hunter Laverack, Purple ribbon.

Archery - 3-D CWSR - Open

2nd place, SR, 248.03, Hunter Laverack.

JR, 137, Amya Camp.

SR, 189, Mason Mansfield.

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