By Kyle Jillson | August 10 2012 09:40


Brownells/NRA Youth Shooting Sports Ambassador Jesse Rogers recently ran into Wyoming Field Rep Dave Manzer at the National High School Rodeo Championships in Rock Springs, Wyoming.

Also making an appearance at the championships was the Friends of NRA TV crew to film an episode for the upcoming third season.

Here's what Jesse wrote about his experience.

Dear Readers,

We just concluded the National High School Finals Rodeo in Rock Springs, Wyoming, and it was an amazing year. I am happy to report that the shooting sports are growing faster than ever! The scores in the Light Rifle Competition have increased another 7% since last year. Light Rifle seen a field of 116 shooters. I was impressed everyone brought their “A” game this year and elevated the level of competition. The Trap Shooting Competition experienced their first shoot off to determine the National Champion! Last year Ty Anderson of Utah was the only contestant in the event to shoot a perfect score of 25. This year there were 5 contestants that had a perfect score of 25. Those 5 contestants were then moved back to the 22 yard line to compete in a shoot off for the National Title, it still took an almost perfect score of 49 out of 50 to win the National Title. Trap shooting seen a field of 118 shooters. The shooting program seen a total of 69 shooters who traveled to Rock Springs, Wyoming to compete in the shooting sports.

I would like to congratulate Morgan Myers of Texas; she is our National Champion in the Light Rifle Competition with a score of 322 out of 360. Morgan also was the National Champion Light Rifle Shooter at the Jr. High National Finals in 2011. This was Morgan’s freshman year and first time competing at the National High School Finals Rodeo. This young lady can shoot and I look forward to seeing her again next year at the Finals. The Reserve National Champion was Lorenzo Lara of New Mexico with a score of 319 out of 360. Lorenzo hails from my home state of New Mexico and we are proud to say that he was also the Reserve National Light Rifle Champion in 2011. 

Here is the listing of the top 5 in the Light Rifle competition and their scores.

2012 NHSFR NRA Light Rifle Championship
State Contestant Prone Standing Kneeling Total
Texas       Morgan Meyers 115-3x 104-0x 103-2x 322-6x
New Mexico       Lorenzo Lara 117-3x 103-0x 99-0x 319-3x
Nebraska       Pryce Pinney 112-1x 94-0x 94-0x 300-1x
New Mexico       Katelynn Littleton 111-1x 81-0x 105-1x 297-2x
Missouri       Patrick Houchins 111-2x 92-1x 90-0x 293-3x


The National Champion in the Trap Shooting was Jesse Rogers of New Mexico with a final score of 49 out of 50. His team mate, Jake Rocko, of New Mexico finished astrong second with a score of 47 out of 50. These two gentlemen have shoot with and against one another all year! Jake was the first contestant to run 25 and secure his place in the shoot off, Sid Heart of South Dakota was next, with Jesse Rogers of New Mexico and Terrell Platt of Oregon, filling slots 3 and 4. Patrick Houchins of Missouri secured the 5th slot. All five of these constantans broke 25 out of 25 or as trap shooters like to say ran 25. For the shoot off we were moved back in yardage. We moved from the 16 yard line to the 22 yard line which is a difference of 6 yards! The addition of 6 yards did not slow down this field of competitors.

Here is a listing of the top 5 for the Trap Shooting Competition and their scores.

2012 NHSFR NRA Trap Shooting Championship
State Contestant 1st Rnd 2nd Rnd Runs Total
New Mexico       Jesse Rogers 25 24   49
New Mexico       Jake Rocko 25 22   47
Missouri       Patrick Houchins 25 20 2R 45
Oregon       Terrell Platt 25 20 0R 45
South Dakota       Sid Hart 25 17   42

I had the opportunity to set down and talk with Terrell Platt of Oregon. He traveled to Rock Springs, Wyoming, just to shoot and said that he had the time of his life! I was ecstatic to hear that! I was very impressed with this young man. Terrell is a freshman and this was his first trip to the NHSRA Finals. He held his nerves in check and was in a shoot off for the National Title! I believe that before this young man graduates out of our program he will walk away with a National Title. I hope to be seeing and shooting with you again! I would like to thank the city of Green River and Rock Springs, Wyoming, we could not have asked for better facilities! The Light Rifle Range located in Green River was superb. The community of Green River should be commended on the improvements that they made to their existing rifle range. There was plenty of room for all of the shooters gear and with 20 full shooting stations; the competition ran smoothly and effectively without any backup or congestion.

The Sweet Water Trap Club is one of the best trap clubs that I have ever shot at! There was plenty of parking, the background of the range was amazing and the machines threw some beautiful targets! Jeff Strange, president of the trap club, was the best host anyone could ask for! He was kind enough to open the range everyday for all of the contestants to practice and was always willing to help with any problems that arose. I broke a firing pen in my shotgun right before I had toshoot my 3rd round in the team shooting event and Jeff brought out his own trap gun and said, “here take it and finish out the competition”. We could not have asked for a better host!

Hats off to the committee who was in charge of securing the caterer who served lunch for the Family Day Events at the Light Rifle and Trap Range. In case you missed it this guy can cook! Now I am used to good cooking because my mom is a fabulous cook and, just so you know, I do believe I would put him up there in that same category with her. That brisket and pulled pork was FABULOUS!

Let’s take a moment to thank our sponsors not only for their generous contributions but also their presence at our events.

Encana is a leading North American energy producer producing natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids. By partnering with employees, community organizations and other businesses, Encana contributes to the strength and sustainability of the communities where it operates. Encana was very generous in donating all the clay targets that were thrown at the trap shooting competition.


Federal Ammunition manufactures a complete line of shotshell, centerfire and rimfire ammunition and components. They are a National Sponsor of the NHSRA. They supplied all the ammunition for the Light Rifle and Trap Shooting Competitions along with the ammunition for Family Day in each event.

The NRA had a huge presence at our competitions this year. Miss Claudia and her staff were there to ensure that all the Range Safety Officers had the proper training and that the matches were ran in a safe manner. Mr. Dave Butz , consultant and board member for the National Rifle Association, was also present at the competitions.Mr. Butz is a former American Football defensive lineman in the National Football League who played for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Redskins in a sixteen-year career from 1973 to 1988. He was gracious enough to let me try on one of the three Superbowl rings that he wears! Mr. Butz is very involved with the youth shooting sports program thru the NRA and was at the Sweetwater Trap Club ready and willing to give advice and instruction to all who were interested. David Manzer, Wyoming Senior Field Representative for the NRA, traveled from New Castle, Wy. to help out with the shooting events. The NRA also had a production crew out at the trap shooting event. They were filming an episode for Friends of the NRA. Matt Duff and Jessie Duff, host of the Friends of the NRA, wanted to showcase the youth of our rodeo organization and the perfect fit between the shooting sports and the rodeo world. The episode will air on the Outdoor Channel the first quarter of 2013.

The innovation and pacesetting performance associated with the Weatherby® name spans more than 65 years. Yet, while their place in history is firmly established, it is the prospects for the future that shine brightest of all. Mike Schwiebert, Director of Marketing for Weatherby, was in attendance at the Trap Shooting range and was witness to our first ever shoot off for the National Title. It was my pleasure to shake his hand after the shoot off. Weatherby has always been a proud supporter of the National High School Rodeo Association. The Weatherby banner hangs proudly at all of our rodeo performances, however to meet the man behind the name and know that he was at your event is monumental.

Jon Grundmeyer, Event Coordinator, with Boot Barn ventured out to the trap range and shot a few rounds with the New Mexico Team. He had heard so much about the shooting program that he wanted to come out and experience it firsthand. I believe that Mr. Grundmeyer left the range with a new appreciation for the sport. He vowed to go home and practice and come back stronger next year. We will look forward to the challenge.

Peter Jacoway with Jaco Brands also ventured out to the trap field to shoot with the New Mexico Team. Peter has a personal connection with this team since he designed and built custom breast collars as part of their St. Finals awards package. He wanted to shoot with the team that he had heard so much about. Jaco Brands, LLC is a California based company whose products include working equine tack as well as accessories such as belts. All of their products are made in the USA with each piece of work personally burnt and hand dyed by employees in-house. Peter has a slight competitive spirit to his nature and of course a friendly competition could not be complete without a prize to the winner. Game on, we were shooting for burritos, looser pays. Peter Jacoway verses team New Mexico. I must say Peter is a fabulous shot and given a little practice would be extremely hard to beat however New Mexico was on fire and Peter paid for burritos. Better luck next year!

To wrap things up, the 2012 NHSRA Finals was the best that I have ever attended! I was very impressed with the facilities at Rock Springs and Green River along with the great staff that manned the events. We were met with open arms and it made the experience very enjoyable. I look forward to returning to Rock Springs and hopefully I get to see some of you again next year!

Thanks for your time.

Jesse Rogers
National Youth Shooting Sports Ambassador

P.S. Here is an interesting fact about the top five contestants in the Light Rifle and Trap Shooting competitions. All 5 top finishers in both events traveled to Rock Springs, Wyoming to shoot. These were their qualifying events.


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