Kemper Academy begins third year of sport shooting competition
The Kemper Academy shooting team is getting ready to take part in the Winter Qualifier on Dec. 4 at Turcotte Shooting Facility in Jackson. Earlier this year the six-member varsity team and nine-member junior varsity team competed at McIvor Shooting Facility in Sardis.
This is the third year for KA to have a team which competes in the Mississippi Scholastic Shooting Sport Program under the umbrella of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks.
Coach LouAnn Wilson, who was recruited to head up the program when it was first initiated, said that the school usually has 12 to 15 students competing in the events.
There is a Fall Qualifier and Winter Qualifier, with the results of those two events being combined to see which 50 teams qualify for state. This year that event will be held April 29-30 at Turcotte Shooting Facility and Capital Gun Club in Jackson. Wilson said that there were between 800 and 900 students competing in the meet in Sardis. For the past two seasons KA has had a team advance to state.
Each school can enter multiple three-person teams in the events, and boys and girls can be on the same team.
In the qualifying events the competitors shoot sporting clays at 12 different stations using shotguns for a total of 100 rounds.
Although Wilson herself is a hunter, she said shooting sporting clays isn’t her forte, but she enjoys coaching the KA students. “I can’t hit a sporting clay,” she said with a laugh.
Just before the program began the MDWFP came by KA and asked headmaster Mary Ellen Waters if the school would like to form a team and she reached out to Wilson. She then took the necessary instruction to be able to lead the teams.