Hornbeak teenager takes dead aim at Olympic shooting competition

Hornbeak teenager takes dead aim at Olympic shooting competition

Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2008 9:04 pm
By: Casey Curlin, Messenger intern

By CASEY CURLIN Messenger Intern Fourteen-year-old Jacob McBride’s life may sound comparable to his classmates. An incoming freshman at Lake County High School this fall, his grades are decent and he enjoys duck hunting, basketball and playing with his dog, Bo. But there is more to this Hornbeak teenager than meets the eye. Jacob and his parents, Joe and Dana McBride, are on the road nearly every weekend. He has earned numerous plaques and medals, most of which have “champion” engraved somewhere on their metal surfaces. But possibly the most interesting fact about so young a person is that he is the gold medalist of the 2008 Tennessee Junior Olympic Trap Shooting Championships. On June 21-22, Jacob competed in and won the Tennessee Junior Olympic State Shotgun Championships for trap shooting in Paris. He was one of 130 participants to compete in the contest, which accepts individuals up to 20 years of age. According to his mother, Jacob shot 70 moving clay targets out of 75 on the first day of the competition and, by the second day, he had hit 117 of 125. The closest score to his was 113 of 125. In addition to the gold, Jacob also took home the bronze medal in the skeet shooting competition at the state junior Olympics competition. Jacob will be advancing to the Junior Olympic National Championships next month in Colorado Springs, Colo., where he will compete against the best individuals in the country for the national trap shooting title. He has only been shooting competitively for three years but, according to his father, he has been familiar with shooting since he was big enough to walk. He began shooting in competitions, just for fun, but it soon escalated into a deep dedication to the sport because of his increased success. In addition to being a state Olympic gold medalist, he has won numerous awards and titles since he began competing, including the Scholastic Clay Target Program All-State team, the Tennessee State ATA All-State team, Tennessee State Sub Jr. High Overall, and his shooting team out of McKenzie won first place in the SCTP State competition. The targets are thrown about 75 miles per hour at the Olympic competition, much faster than an average shooting competition. In addition to weekly practices at Wingfoot Sportsman Club in Union City, Jacob practices on the shooting field at the Dyers-burg Gun Club, which also throws targets at Olympic speeds. His parents have shown a great deal of support and encouragement for their son. They are on the road traveling throughout Tennessee and the surrounding states nearly every weekend for competitions. “He shoots year round,” Mrs. McBride said. “When we’re not trap shooting he’s duck hunting, so we never quit buying shells.” Before Jacob began competing in shooting sports, he played football and basketball for Black Oak School in Hornbeak, but it soon became too much to handle along with his increasingly busy shooting sport schedule. The exhaustion of such dedication even showed on Jacob’s face as he described his hectic agenda. Nonetheless, he is an ambitious young man with no signs of slowing down on his current progress. He hopes to one day be an All-American, and that goal does not seem too far out of reach. “We really are proud of him,” his father said. Casey Curlin, a Fulton native, is a communications major at the University of Tennssee at Martin. Published in The Messenger 7.10.08

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