FHSU Shotgun Team Wins 8th National Crown

It’s always interesting to see how the Fort Hays State University shotgun team will top what it accomplished the year before.


FHSU finished in the top three at two different national tournaments in a span of 10 days last spring when events from the fall and spring semesters were combined into one semester because of the pandemic.


How could the fall 2021 season top that, one might ask? Consider it done.


Fort Hays State brought home its eighth national championship earlier this month by winning the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) in Columbus, Ohio, and finished with an incredible, FHSU program-record 2,953 targets out of 3,000 (.984 percentage).


It was the fourth consecutive SCTP national title for FHSU, which not only defeated all the Division II teams (with 10 to 20 shooters) at this year’s event but also outscored all the Division I squads (20-plus shooters).


One of the highlights of the meet for Fort Hays State was the perfect 200-for-200 performance of Jared Greenwood, a sophomore from Augusta. That not only earned him first-place individual honors in men’s sporting clays, it also helped FHSU win that team competition in Division II. FHSU also took first in D-II in trap singles and recorded the top score in all divisions in American skeet.


Dr. Duane Shepherd, an assistant professor of health and human performance and one of the team’s coaches, was pleased not only with the team’s performance but with its work ethic as well.


“These kids worked extremely hard to get where they’re at,” said Shepherd, who founded the program at FHSU in 2004. “They are very focused, and they deserved it. It’s one of the hardest working teams we’ve ever had.”


FHSU added a junior varsity program this year and also added two coaches – Jerrod Lies, an admission counselor at FHSU, and Cody Escritt, who volunteers his time. Both are former All-Americans for the FHSU shotgun team. Shepherd is in charge of skeet, Lies the trap shooting, and Escritt – sporting clays.


“This way, the kids are shooting a lot of targets every day and getting more individualized attention,” Shepherd said.


The varsity team practices every Tuesday and Thursday, with Wednesdays reserved solely for the JV squad. The coaches then select some of the JV shooters to work with the varsity on its practice days. Incorporating JV members in with the varsity benefits the entire program, as the JV team gets valuable varsity experience while being mentored by varsity members.


“This way, they know what to expect to be successful, and they are getting seasoned as they get ready for the next year,” Shepherd said. “We’re organizing them to be shooting at a level they need for the varsity experience, and we believe it will work in their favor.”


Other highlights for FHSU included six shooters finishing in the top 10 individually – Greenwood, Riley Ross, Lane Sorensen, and Brock Barton in the men’s division and Katie Petersen and Hailey Zulkoski in the women’s division. FHSU featured seven shooters who shot one or more perfect rounds of 100-of-100.


Ross, a senior from St. Paul, Neb., who has been part of several national championships during his FHSU career, was a member of all three first-place team events for FHSU en route to finishing third in high overall (HOA) for the men (590-of-600).


Petersen, a graduate student from Fremont, Neb., won the women’s skeet competition with 198-of-200 targets, which helped her claim HOA honors for the women (583-of-600). Other individual top-three efforts besides Greenwood’s perfect performance in sporting clays and Ross’ third HOA finish, were Jade Chapman, first place, women’s trap, and Sorensen, second place, men’s skeet.


National competitors for FHSU (listed in alphabetical order), and their hometowns, were:

  • Brock Barton, Fairbury, Neb.
  • Zach Beers, Syracuse, Neb.
  • Jade Chapman, Papillion, Neb.
  • Will Dulohery, St. George
  • Jared Greenwood, Benton
  • Alex Hunter, Hickman, Neb.
  • Hank McVeigh, Lincoln, Neb.
  • Katie Petersen, Fremont, Neb.
  • Riley Ross, St. Paul, Neb.
  • Ryan St. Peters, Godfrey, Ill.
  • Logan Smith, Burwell, Neb.
  • Lane Sorensen, Hampton, Neb.
  • Mason Weller, Palmer, Neb.
  • Xander Winchell, Spring Hill
  • Hailey Zulkoski, Ord, Neb.