Fifty shooters from California, including 11 juniors and several adults from the Mother Lode Gun Club, represented California at the National Trophy Rifle Matches and Small Arms Firing Schools in Port Clinton, Ohio at Camp Perry Military Base in late July and early August.
They are annual National events established by Congress and President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 that continue to be authorized by Federal Law.
The junior team won all five junior matches and also one High Civilian Award, while setting two new national records.
In the Freedom Fire Junior Match, the California Grizzly Heidi’s Dream Team duo of Sagen Maddalena, of Groveland, and Lane Ichord, of Waterford, established a new national record with a 974-32 aggregate. The team was named in honor of Heidi Bayer, a former Grizzly mom, who recently passed away. Captain Morgan Owen, of Sonora, and Forrest Greenwood, of Ceres, of the California Grizzly Team RCBS finished in second place.
The California Grizzly RCBS juniors of Maddalena, Ichord, Kasey Nelson, of Escondido and Kevin Tandoc, of Stevenson Ranch combined to shoot a 1953-49X to set a new national record in the four-man Rumboldt Team Match. California Grizzlies Team Berger of Jake Nelson, Owen, Brad Pappageorge, of Copperopolis and Peter Tidball, of Jamestown was right behind with a second-place finish.
California Grizzlies O’Connell: Conar Braly, of Copperopolis, Greenwood, Ichord, Maddalena, Owen and Tandoc earned the first place civilian Leatherneck Trophy and Junior Infantry Team Trophy in the Infantry Trophy Match.
Combined the six team members shot a 1242 aggregate. They were second overall below the first place Army Marksmanship Unit.
California Grizzly junior Team Greenwood came in second with a score of 888 with shooters Tidball, Kasey, Sophie Christensen, of Sonora, Harry Swift, of El Sobrante, Jake Nelson and Hollie Swenson, of Mi-Wuk.
Braly, Greenwood, Nelson, Owen, Pappageorge, and Tandoc joined to form the six-member California Grizzly Team Seeley. The team shot a 2850-66 aggregate to win the first place junior Minuteman Trophy and Coalinga Team Oman: Ichord, Chad Kurgan, Maddalena, Jared Perry, Jim O’Connell and Robert Taylor II shot a 2915-86 as an adult team to take home the civilian Soldier of Marathon Trophy in the National Trophy Rifle Team Matches. Coalinga Team Oman finished sixth overall and Team Seeley placed 10th.
Owen placed second overall out of 159 by one point in the USMC Junior High Clinic EIC match during the Civilian Marksmanship Program.
Nationally Distinguished Rifleman, Maddalena, had six other junior team members join her this year who earned the title of Nationally Distinguished Rifleman: Greenwood, Ichord, Jacob and Kasey Nelson, of Escondido, Owen and Tandoc. They joined John Henderson, the junior armorer of Sonora, who earned his title at Camp Perry as well. Pappageorge earned his first four of the 30 points needed.
Kurgan, of Murphys, placed 30th out of 1,156 competitors in the National Trophy Individual Match and Robert Taylor II, of Columbia, placed 19th.
During the second week of competitions sponsored by the National Rifle Association, the California Grizzly Team Hodgdon of Owen and Greenwood shot a 963-24x to win the Whistler Boy competition. Heidi’s Dream Team followed with a second place finish after shooting a 961-23X.
In the individual NRA matches, Greenwood finished first overall in High Intermediate in the aggregate while winning five individual High Intermediate titles: one first Master, two third and one fourth. Christensen won High Sharpshooter overall besides winning five first, two second places and one High Junior.
Maddalena won one High Junior and one High Woman award. Pappageorge won one second, third and fourth place Master award. Ichord was fifth Master overall and took two first and one third place award besides.
Kasey Nelson won one High Woman and finished with a first and second Master award. Owen won two High Intermediate awards and a fourth Master. Jake Nelson won two High Intermediate awards and ended with a fourth and a fifth place finish. Braly won three second place awards in the Master class.
Swenson finished fifth Expert overall and won a second and two third Expert awards. Tidball won one third Expert award, while Kulik won one first Sharpshooter.
Joshua Bick, of Tuolumne, placed second overall in Sharpshooter and won three first place, three second and a fourth place award.