Mayport Sharpshooter Qualifies for Junior Olympic Championships

FRYBURG, Pa. (EYT) – A Mayport teenager has qualified to compete at the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships in April.

Fourteen-year-old Brady Fowkes, a member of the Fryburg Junior Marksmen Rifle Team, recently learned that he qualified for nationals, which will be held in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

It is the first time a member of the Fryburg team qualified for nationals.

About 200 shooters from across the country will compete at nationals, and the first-place finishers in both the men’s and women’s divisions will be offered a place on the Junior Olympic Rifle Team.

Head coach Ashley Ahrens and Fowkes’ parents, Julie Graf and Scott Fowkes, who help coach the junior team, will accompany Brady to nationals.

“We’re really pleased what Brady has been able to accomplish so far,” Ahrens said. “I felt he had a good chance to do this, but I wasn’t imagining he’d do it this quickly. But, he has the attitude for it, and I believe he will do well.”

Fowkes began shooting when he was just 5 and then got into more with the Clarion County 4H Sharp Shooters.

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Fowkes joined the junior team at Fryburg in October 2016; Ahrens has mentored him and five other shooters.

“I have high expectations for the kids,” Ahrens said. “And, we’ve been very fortunate to have the support of the Fryburg Sportsman’s Club.”

The sport of shooting isn’t cheap to get into with air rifles and shooting jackets costing thousands of dollars, but Ahrens said the club’s ongoing support has allowed area young people to get involved.

Youth shooters from across Pennsylvania have competed at the Division I level while on scholarship, and others have shot as members of the U.S. Army marksmen team at West Point, N.Y.

Fowkes shoots in both air rifle and smallbore (.22 caliber) competitions. In air rifle, he shot his qualifying score of 577 out of a possible 600, at a match in Harrisburg in December of 2017.

The team is accepting new junior members and those interested should contact Ahrens at 814-493-5482 or at the Fryburg Junior Marksmen Facebook page here.


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