South Georgia Youth Shooting Club members – and their coach – continue to make names for themselves on the national level.
Four club members finished in the top eight in the single trap open competition in the 2012 USA Shooting Fall Selection Match held last month at the Hill Country Shooting Sports Center in Kerrville, Texas.
Chris Webster finished third overall in double trap.
And Tyler Lirio, who finished fourth in the open men’s event, has been named to the National Team, giving the Hartsfield club four members on the elite team.
Lirio also was selected to attend a camp from Dec. 10-17 in Puebla, Mexico.
“He had a great showing at the Fall Selection Match,” said Wanda Jewell, USA Shooting’s program director for shotgun and a former Olympic bronze medalist. “The national coach singled him out.”
Lirio joins South Georgia Youth Shooting Club teammates Will Hinton, Chris Webster and Justin Brooks on the national team.
Lirio shot a score of 236 targets. Also in the open division in the Texas competition, Max Milan was fifth with 235 targets; Hinton was seventh with 210; and Ryne Barfield was eighth with 198.
“I’m proud of Tyler,” coach Mike Simpson said. “He did well in a difficult competition.”
Also representing the local club at the Fall Selection Match were Katelyn Lawson and Jay Wingate.
When asked if he had ever had one of groups perform that well, Simpson said, “Not at that level. The kids just did awesome. I’m having a ball teaching them and they are responding.
“They work hard and they are all smart too. They excel in the classroom and they excel on the range.”
Simpson’s success with young trap shooters has not gone unnoticed by USA Shooting.
He has been named a USA Shooting national assistant coach for youth development.
“He is one of the top junior coaches in our youth development program,” Jewell said.
As a national assistant coach, Simpson and his facility will host camps and clinics and he will travel to provide instruction at other venues.
“He has an outstanding training facility there,” Jewell said. “We’ll be able to catch more kids regionally.”
One of those camps will be held Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in Hartsfield. Some 18 young shooters from around the country are expected to attend, as are national coaches Lloyd Woodhouse and Mike Colbert.
Woodhouse is a former U.S. Olympic Committee Coach of the Year for shooting.
Jewell says Simpson “provides a good foundation for our young shooters.”
And campers will be able to take special advantage of Simpson’s vision training class.
“And it’s a very good one,” Jewell said. “They will learn how they are supposed to be looking at a target.”
When asked about the talent that Simpson is developing in Hartsfield, she said that several have the potential to make a run for the Olympic team, especially in 2020.
How about 2016?
“Well, you never know,” she said.
Simpson and several of his shooters were at the Dunn Road bunker last weekend making an instructional video. Lirio, Hinton and Webster took part.
A Simpson-coached team that included Lirio, Ryne Barfield, Robert Barfield and Trey Lanier recently took first place in the Aim for Cure sporting clays competition held at the South Winds Sporting Clays range in Quitman.
Simpson also coaches the Florida State University shotgun team and it placed fifth in its first competition, a match held recently in Jacksonville, Fla.