By Michael Hicks
All day long Kasye Housman and Travis Lutz were singing the Twisted Sister hit “I Wanna Rock.” The catchy ’80s tune had an impact because, for the life of her, Housman couldn’t miss.
The 19-year-old hit 25 straight birdies during the state 4H trap shooting championship on Labor Day weekend at Pikes Peak Gun Club in Colorado Springs.
Then she hit 50.
“I guess I was in a zone. When you’re in the zone you’re in the zone,” she said. “The song was stuck in my head, and I would sing it over and over again. I was just shooting and having fun. It really does help.”
If she hadn’t finally missed, awarding Douglas County’s Cody Myers the grand championship and her the reserve title, she might still be shooting to this day. But, nevertheless, her consistency was sort of the norm for what the entire Berthoud 4-H Club did that weekend.
Whether it was Housman or teammates Logan Godlewski, Lutz, Jacqui White or Zack Bauer, they weren’t missing the target — at least not very often. Hitting 239 of 250 targets the 4-H Club not only won the state team trap shooting competition in the senior division for the first time, but this particular group repeated its feat from two years earlier as juniors.
“They cleaned house,” organization leader Tim Allen said. “They’ve been top three for, Good Lord, for four years in all of the events. Now they’ve turned into seniors.”
Housman wasn’t a part of that team two years ago because she was already in the senior class, but Bauer was. The 15-year-old, who took up shooting BB guns when he was 4 and trap three years ago, didn’t see much of a change from then to now.
“It wasn’t a ton different, mostly age,” said Bauer, who was joined on that team by Godlewski, White and Lutz.
But, ask Godlewski, and he’ll tell you differently.
“Definitely, a couple of years makes a big difference in how you shoot,” he said. “We shot a lot better than we did a few years ago.”
With that came the experience gained to win state twice in three years and to be a reserve champion last year. Add to that, Lutz traveled to nationals in Nebraska in June and Godlewski is scheduled to go next year in Texas, and the accolades don’t stop just on the state level.
“That was the best thing about shooting so far,” said Lutz, who started shooting when he was 9, of his nationals experience.
Yet it’s easy to see why they’ve been so successful. It comes down to one thing. “Practice, practice, practice,” Lutz said. “There’s no real way to get better than to go out and shoot. Shooting is the only way to get better at it.”
Be it trap, skeet shooting or five-stance, whatever the 4-H Club has set out to accomplish more times than not it has done so.
The sport has also served well for people such as White. It allowed the 16-year-old to come out of her shell. She never even considered shooting until one of her uncles saw signs up around Town for the Berthoud Gun Club hosting 4-H. After a suggestion from her stepdad to give it a try, the former freshman class president at Berthoud High found out that she liked it. She liked it so much that she found herself joining another shooting club later on as well.
“I didn’t have a lot of friends so I joined this. It really opened me up to connect with people a lot more,” said White, who is now a junior at BHS. “I love hanging out with the club now. Everyone there helped me to grow up more. It made me realize that there are people out there to help you do that.”
Not only that, but because shooting is such a different sport than the norm — football, baseball, basketball, etc. — not only were there people helping each other out, but the shooters were helping themselves out as well.
“They may not have the best physical condition, but it’s all a mental game. It’s all about yourself,” said assistant organization leader Mel Green. “Trap shooting is kind of a mind game, and they excelled as a team.”
But they won’t be a team, at least not in its current state, much longer. This was Housman’s last year, Bauer is considering archery and Godlewski is pondering taking a break from the sport. But if this was their final go-around, it was a lasting one.
“This was a pretty good way to end my 4-H career,” Housman said.
You could say that again.
<p>Champion 4-H trap shooters Jacqui White, Kasye Housman, Zack Bauer and Logan Godlewski at the Berthoud Gun Club.</p>