Providence Grove group places in hunter safety regional competition

Members of Providence Grove FFA hunter safety team went to Indiana this summer. They are, front row (seated), left to right: Amelia Lackey, Austin Williams and Troy Blakley. Back row: Cooper Wright, FFA advisor and coach Amy Kidd, instructor and coach Bruce Hicks and Christian Swaim. (Courtesy photo)

CLIMAX – Members of Providence Grove’s Future Farmers of America hunter safety team placed in a regional competition this summer.

Five students took part in the Eastern Regional Youth Hunter Education Challenge, which included safety trail, muzzleloader, rifle, orienteering, shotgun, test, wildlife identification, and archery. It took place in Versailles, Ind.

“It was a great opportunity,” said Amy Kidd, the FFA advisor at Providence Grove. “This is the first year that Providence Grove High School had a team qualify.”

The Providence Grove group placed first in the test component of the competition, while it was third in archery and safety trail. Rising junior Austin Williams was third individual in the test and second in muzzleloader.

Other team members for Providence Grove were Christian Swaim, Troy Blakley, Cooper Wright and Amelia Lackey. Swaim is a senior for the school year that just began, while the others are juniors.

To reach the regional, students competed in the federation tournament in February, the district tournament in March, and the state tournament in April. The Patriots team included Tanner Breedlove, Hunter Sexton, Seth Turner, Cash Brown, Carson Culberson, Swain, Blakley, Lackey, Williams and Wright.

There was a needed rise in execution going from district and state competitions to the regional level.

“They had to learn brand-new events,” Kidd said. “They learned a lot of stuff in a very short amount of time.”

The new topics included muzzleloader, safety trail and wildlife identification.

Kidd and Bruce Hicks coach the hunter safety team.

At each level, the students worked diligently and successfully honed their skills as sportsmen and sportswomen, Kidd said. Other team members from the season included the Blue team with Jackson Austin, Zach Beck, Jacob Bowman, Carter Butler, Will Coble, Reese Davis, Carter Foster, Trevor Kirkman, Dylan Pierce, Josh Ward, and the Silver team with Isabelle Coble, Devin James, Zain Johnson, Peyton Kelly, Micah Oates, Zoey Pugh, Elizabeth Shoe.

“We start the next season in just a few weeks,” Kidd said.

By Bob Sutton