Whether it’s a lack of eye-hand coordination, poor eyesight or a combination of the two, I have always envied those who are good wing shooters.

Typically, some have honed their skills with skeet and trap shooting.

Here are a couple of young men from Braggs who could teach this old dog some new tricks.

Eighteen-year-olds Thane Patterson and Jesse Irving each just landed a spot on the shotgun shooting sports team for next year at Connors State College.

Both 2020 graduates, they have grown up together in Braggs and have been friends since about the age of three.

The pair also landed Cherokee Nation Scholarships as well as Lorena F Walker Scholarships through the Braggs Foundation.

In addition, Patterson received a room and board reduction rate when making the team.

Irving plans to commute.

Where was this when I was in school?

Connors Shooting Team activities begin August 13th and their classwork begins on the 17th.

Because of the pandemic, the boys’ classes will be a mix of traditional and online work.

The Connors team’s competition season begins in the fall and goes all the way until Spring Break.

Patterson desires to become a firefighter and Irving is majoring in agriculture engineering.

Patterson first got into trap and skeet shooting following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Chad Garrett, who competed in International Trap Shooting in Taiwan back in the day.

Patterson uses a Lanber, made in Spain,  over and under for skeet. The Lanber is borrowed from his  grandpa.

“I didn’t know anything about it until I was in the seventh grade. My grandpa pulled his equipment out of the barn and told me that I was old enough to start doing this,” said Patterson.

Mom Lisa, who hails from Indiana, remembers growing up there with her dad having a shooting range built in the middle of their cornfield.

Fast forward to today and his parents, James and Lisa Patterson, have built on their property a course for the team of Braggs High School to practice shooting in preparation for competitions.

There are about 27 members on the Braggs shooting team. They use Grandpa Garrett’s reloading equipment for their practice shells.

You can join the team beginning in the ninth grade.

Patterson likes to duck hunt and fish.

Jesse Irving, son of Tony and Elsa Irving,  prefers to hunt ducks, geese and deer.

“ My dad introduced me to hunting when I was probably seven or eight years old and I’ve loved it ever since,” said Irving. “ In my opinion, there isn’t anything more exciting than harvesting your own meat from an animal that you’ve put countless hours into all year.”

For skeet, Irving shoots a Remington Model 11 that his grandfather, Sam Irving, left to him. It was made in 1926 and “still shoots like a new one”.

 The Connors State College Shooting team is coached by Sierra Walker and there’s a fundraiser being held August 8-9 that anyone can enter if you’d like to try your skill.

 This will be open to all ages but you must have gone through the hunter safety course and bring your card.  It’s called the 2020 Connors State Cowboy Corral Fundraiser Trap/Skeet Contest and it’s a 50 target trap/50 target skeet meet.

 Pre-registration is $250 per team or $50 per individual. If you wait until that day to register,the cost  is $300 per team and $60 per individual. You may pay by check, cash or credit card.

Contact Coach Sierra Walker to register. Email her at sierra.re.walker@connorsstate.edu or call (918) 869-2177.

This event is sponsored by the Quail Forever CSC Big Hill Chapter and Midway Foundation. Raffles and concessions will be available. Side games may be available.

Contact Coach Walker at sierra.re.walker@connorsstate.edu   or call 918-869-2177.

The contest begins at 8 a.m. Raffles and concessions will be available.

Shootoffs will be Sunday the 9th after the last squad.

Come out and support this worthy cause. 

Gun shooting sports are part of the Olympic Games and who knows…..we may wind up with an Olympian from Oklahoma out of the team.

 Reach John Kilgore at jkilgoreoutdoors@yahoo.com.


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