Barton County Sharp Shooter member Parker Smith didn’t let a fractured right wrist stop her from competing in the Barton County Winter Classic. Parker hurt her wrist in a backward fall playing basketball.
That came a while after she broke her other wrist in August riding her bike. Let’s just say that Parker is an active 11-year-old sixth-grader. She just got her cast off from the basketball injury after four weeks, just in time to join her shooting 4-H friends at the Expo Grounds Saturday.
Parker said she has been practicing and didn’t want to miss her first air rifle competition. After a brief warm-up, the youngsters fire 60 shots from prone, standing and kneeling positions. The youngsters employ air rifles that fires shots by means of compressed air.
“I didn’t want to miss it,” said the daughter of Scott and Kristi Smith of Great Bend. “I thought I shot pretty good in the prone and standing positions.”
Parker was one of 14 Barton County 4-H members competing in the Barton County Winter Classic Saturday at the Expo Grounds. The injury prevented Parker from pumping up her air rifle, so her father Scott Smith was able to assist her.
“Because of Parker’s injury, I was able to help her pump up her air rifle,” Scott said. “I’m always surprised by how much strength it takes to do that.”
The Barton County Sharp Shooters also practice on archery skills.
Parker is actually an experienced shooter. She uses a 12-gauge Benelli rifle when she hunts deer and pheasant with her father.
“I like hunting deer and pheasant the best,” she said. “It’s fun hunting with my dad.”
Did we mention her father Scott is awfully proud of her daughter?
“Anytime you can spend time with your daughter, that’s a good thing as a father,” Scott said. “I’ve hunted deer, turkey and pheasant. I’m working on my archery skill too.”
Barton County youngsters entered in Saturday’s competition included Robert Frizell, Will Clark, Kyle Clasen, Dalton Dicks, Logan Hammeke, Jake Kohman, Ryan Kohman, Lake Lyman, Katelyn Reh, Caleb Straub, Thomas Thill, Denver Whaley and Brady Wharton. Several of the youngsters have exceeded the qualifying standards for state competition in April.
Barton County 4-H has enjoyed statewide in air rifle competition and boasts two national champions.