Pull for Youth



Jacob Terry

Jacob Terry of Whitesburg, Tenn., had done only a little bit of dove hunting on his family’s 70 acres before firing at clay targets. Gwen Thomas, the first Tennessee woman to reach the 27-yard line and owner of Pro-Tec, told Jake’s dad Chuck about trapshooting, and Chuck decided to take Jake to Hog Heaven GC to watch. They observed several times in February and March of 2007, and Jake “had the bug” by May, Chuck said.

Jake, who turns 13 on July 16, registered his first targets at Hog Heaven May 5. After hitting 45x100 in singles there, he increased his score to 84 at the Grand American that year.

Jake traveled more during the 2008 target season. In addition to competing at local Hog Heaven, Morristown and Tennessee CTC shoots, he attended state tournaments in Kentucky, North and South Carolina as well as Tennessee. His high singles score of the year was 194, which earned him sub-junior runnerup honors in the Southern Zone



 championship event, and he entered 94s in handicap at Kentucky state and the Grand American.

As of the posting of this article in late June, Jake is “in the pink” on the ATA website (within the sub-junior first team standings) for 410 All-American Points in the 2009 target year. During the Autumn Grand at Tucson T&SC in November, he was age-group runnerup in the Remington Nitro 27 Handicap, and he won the same trophy in the Spring Grand Handicap Championship in February.

He netted two handicap awards at the Southern Grand in March: category runnerup in the Remington Nitro 27 Handicap with 94 and sub-junior handicap champion with 99. Jake earned 1.5-yard punches for the latter score and for another 99 at the Florida State Shoot, putting him on the 23-yard line. At the state shoot, he earned five category prizes plus B high-over-all recognition.

Jake hit 75 straight for the first time at Hog Heaven’s Spring Shoot in April, where he posted a 95 from his new yardage for sub-junior recognition.

While competing at the Great Lakes Grand over Memorial Day weekend, Jake collected three awards—D honors in the class twins and sub-junior runnerup in the doubles and handicap championships.

Before starting trap, Jake played soccer and is still on a traveling team. He contrasts the two sports by saying that he’s not as nervous in soccer because there are team members to share a victory or defeat. There is more individual pressure in trap; however, he likes the fact that he is the one responsible if he “messes up.”

Jake said the best advice he has received is “Don’t worry about misses,” because that only causes frustration. He advises others to “shoot and have fun.” He also doesn’t think about the next target or even keep track of his score. He looks at scores later, but while shooting he concentrates only on the current target. Jake listens to music on his iPod to block out distractions, but if there is something very noisy such as an airplane, he pauses until it has passed.

Even though still has slumps, Jake said he has kept with the sport because he enjoys meeting new people and likes to be challenged. We wants to prove to himself and others what he can accomplish.

Chuck said that Jake has had to deal with some obstacles. Although he is right-handed, he was left-eye dominant. Harry Walberg has helped him become right-eye dominant and shoot with both eyes open. When Jake thinks he hasn’t done well, he and Chuck often make a trip to Harry’s and shoot several hundred targets to get pointers and improve his technique. Chuck emphasized how hard Jake works, practicing two or three times a week and going to weekend shoots whenever possible. Jake especially enjoys shooting against tough competition.

Chuck also said that although Jake usually “doesn’t get down on himself,” if he does get in a slump, Chuck acts as “cheerleader,” and Jake easily gets his confidence back.

In order to improve, Jake also watches All-American shooters and eventually wants to take a clinic from one of them.

Jake has learned that outgrowing his gun can cause him to shoot poorly, and Todd Nelson of The Country Gentleman has been especially helpful in refitting his gun. Jake currently shoots a Beretta 682 Gold E with a Mercury recoil system and adjustable comb. His ammunition is Federal paper for singles, Remington Nitro 27s for handicap and Winchester AA lite for doubles.

Chuck joined the ATA in 2008. Carolyn Grenkoski convinced him to form an AIM team for the Hog Heaven club, which he called The Stagecoach Shooters. Chuck is now AIM director for Tennessee. He enjoys shooting with his son. “We have the best time together,” he said.

Jake has registered approximately 8,400 singles, 5,500 handicap and 3,000 doubles targets. His goals are to hit 100 straight and make the All-American sub-junior first team.




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