Set for July 27 as fundraiser, Whiz-bang qualifier
That’s the purpose of the inaugural Southeast Texas Youth Shooting Sports Association Scholarship and Fun Shoot at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 27 at the Greater Houston Sports Club.
The event is sponsored by the Barbers Hill 4-H Shotgun Team.
The shoot will be a fundraiser for the 4-H team and will consist of an adult division for individual and 4-man team competitions in sporting clay shooting, while 4-H teams will also battle it out in that along with skeet and Whiz-bang shooting events.
The Whiz-bang competition is actually a qualifier for the state finals competition in San Antonio in October.
Whiz-Bang consists of targets shot in 50-bird increments from five shooting stands with shooters rotating from each stand after a series of five true pairs. The game offers several different skill levels and utilizes six to eight automatic trap machines to simulate birds. Targets are released in a predetermined sequence displayed on a menu card or board visible to the shooters while in the shooting stand.
There will be four different competitions under the 4-H umbrella consisting of juniors (below sixth grade), intermediates (sixth through eighth grades), senior 1s (ninth and 10th grades) and senior 2s (11th and 12th grades).
Pasadena police officer Sean Wilchek is the volunteer co-manager for the shooting team and looks forward to this event to help the program grow.
“Being the manager of the club, we are always trying to better the club,” Wilchek said. “This is to ramp up the 4H shooting sport’s reputation. We try to promote gun safety and if handled properly it can be a tool you can use with your friends and family to have fun shooting targets. From February to the end of July or the beginning of August, there is a 4-H shooting event going on every weekend and we have zero incidents of anyone getting shot. Nothing happens and you have thousands of thousands of rounds being shot.”
Wilchek added that their goal is to show the flip side of ‘guns are terrible’ narrative while raising money for the team through corporate scholarships. He says at least 65 have signed up so far to sponsor.
“I have taken it upon myself to get this thing going,” he said. “I have a lot of companies that are really excited about this. We make a little off the entry fees, we will have a six-gun auction and a silent auction. We will also have a small raffle too.
“We should have a really good live auction as well. We’re doing very well.”
Wilchek’s daughter, Chailey, is the president of the team/club and will head to Angelo State University on a shooting scholarship.
“It’s pretty awesome what our club has done in a short amount of time,” Chailey Wilchek, a Barbers Hill graduate, said. “It’s really cool to see how many people stick together and helped our club to shoot. A lot of the money we’ve raised comes from this community. When I first joined, we had 15 kids from backwoods of Mont Belvieu with two shotguns.
“Now it’s all across southeastern Houston with kids who enjoy shooting sports.”
Sean Wilchek says there are about 40 members in the club today.
Chailey Wilchek also acknowledges that the idea of young women shooting continues to become more mainstream.
“It kind of levels the playing field,” she said. “It’s not boys just totally dominating the sport. When I was younger, I was really afraid of guns, but once I got into a shooting sport it got me to be much more comfortable around guns and know safety. I see the popularity of shooting sports, over time, growing tremendously. There were a few hundred kids that liked to shoot at our state meet and now we have almost a thousand.
“Growth is going to be outrageous and tremendous.”
This is all happening with the Texas 4-H Shooting Sports State Games Shotgun Championships coming up on the weekend of July 16-20 in San Antonio and with 10 of the club’s competitors heading that way.
“We have some people from Baytown who are actually on our team,” Sean Wilchek said. “We have some from Anahuac and Winnie who also come over.”