Members of the Marion Marksmen Junior Shooters Sports organization earned honors in the New York State American Legion Junior Shooting Sports Championship Tournament at Cicero Legion Post 787 on Feb. 18.

Members of the Marion Marksmen Junior Shooters Sports organization competed in the New York State American Legion Junior Shooting Sports Championship Tournament at Cicero Legion Post 787, in Cicero on Feb. 18, as 84 marksmen from 10 posts around the state participated.

First-year members Ashley Knapp and Adam Smith won medals in the Class D competition.

“I am definitely going to continue next year,” said Knapp, who is 13. “I was nervous at first when I saw all the kids competing, but I got over it when I started shooting.

“My parents say the program is good mind exercise for me, and they want me to always do my best.”
Fourth-year veteran marksman, Alexandria Ford, garnered a silver pin in the advanced shooting class.

Marion’s fourth-year advanced marksman Jennie Bristol earned a bronze pin in the class of 60 participants. If they decide to enlist in ROTC training, they would earn credit for their participation in the program and will be allowed to wear their pins on their uniforms.

First year marksman Rick Arno, 16, plans to join the U. S. Marine Corps or U. S. Army and wants to specialize in diesel mechanics.

He enjoys the regimentation in the safety-oriented shooting sports program, learning proper techniques and increasing his focus and concentration that he said would help in his military training. He also plans to continue with the program until he no longer qualifies.

Department New York Vice Commander Don Logan from Munnsville, was present during the competition and talked with many of the marksmen and coaches. Members of his American Legion post are qualified instructors and are seeking to develop a shooting sports program there.

“This is a great program for these young athletes and we want to expand it into our area,” he said.

Coach Kevin Southcott commended all of the participants on their excellent behavior and manners during the competition.

“There has never been an accident or injury during the 30 years this nationwide program has run,” he said. “Because of the emphasis on safety, I believe it to be the safest sport kids can participate in.”

More information about the Marion Marksmen Junior Shooting Sports program is available from Southcott by calling (315) 576-6382.