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Devil's Thumb Shooters take aim at state competition


Marissa Collison / Submitted Photo

Thirteen-year-old Franklin Neidiffer shoots at clays at the state shooting competition held last month in Wasilla. Neidiffer traveled with three other Petersburg youth as part of the local club Devil's Thumb Shooters.

Part of the local team, the Devil's Thumb Shooters, four Petersburg youth traveled to Wasilla for a state shooting competition June 11-13. Over 90 youth from across the state attended the meet, competing in three events: trap, skeet and clay shooting.

Marissa Collison / Submitted Photo

Petersburg's Devil's Thumb Shooters (clockwise, from left) Head coach Larry O'Rear, Franklin Neidiffer, Louden Sandhofer, Chauncy Sandhofer, assistant coach Marissa Collison, Israel Collison, and Anna Swihart traveled to the state competition last month in Wasilla.

Assistant Coach Marissa Collison said the state competition allowed the Petersburg team members to get more practice with skeet and clay shooting. Currently the team is only able to practice trap shooting at the range off Mitkof Highway.

Fourteen-year-old Israel Collison placed highest in the group, coming in 62nd out of 92 shooters. Louden Sandhofer, 14, was right on his heels, coming in 64th. Anna Swihart, 12, and Franklin Neidiffer, 13, also competed in the events.

The Shooters were formed last summer and about 12 youth have participated in the program so far. Collison said they are always looking for more team mates and that the sport is well suited to kids looking to be part of a team and to work to improve their personal performance.

"It's a really good sport to come and check out because it's not really competitive with each other, more with yourself," she said. "It's super fun."

The team resumes practices next month on Sundays at 2 p.m. at the shooting range. Interested individuals are invited to join in a practice or look at the group's Facebook page for more information.


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