Posted By admin on October 27, 2013
The First USPSA Junior Team
By: Jaret Maynard (15)
My name is Jaret Maynard and I am 15 years old. I am also 1 of 11 kids on the Practical Edge Junior Shooting Team, the one and only junior team in the sport of USPSA.
Right: Jaret Maynard shooting around a barrel stack on a stage at Columbia Cascade in Albany Oregon.
USPSA is a combination of men and women of all ages that compete with a variety of pistols. In USPSA we shoot IPSC cardboard targets and steel plates and poppers. The sport has been around for a while however, we are the first one to throw a junior team aspect into the sport.
Eastin Ard snapping his head around to engage the his next array of targets.
The team idea came into play soon after I started USPSA ( August 2012 ). The mastermind who came up with the idea was my mom, Dee Maynard, our team coordinator. Before I started shooting, I was a wrestler ( similar to shooting in that it’s a one man sport with teams ). When I started shooting, she wondered, "Why is this sport any different?" Not three months later, we were having our first practice.
Left to right: Practical edge making a name at Columbia Cascade! Olivia Bayuk won 1st D class production. Dexter Bradley won high overall. Mikayla Blosser won Lady champion, second B class and Second junior. Jaret Maynard won high junior and first B class. Coach, Mark Bradley won first master class open.
The team consists of 11 juniors, three with prior experience to the sport, 8 brand new to the sport. Eastin Ard, Austin Schoffstall, Adam Zaragoza, Shane Hill, Mikayla Blosser, Olivia Bayuk, Jeremy Marboe, Dexter Bradley, Sheridan Arntzen, Samantha Joyner, and me, Jaret Maynard. The youngest is 10 and the oldest is 18. The team is coached by Mark Bradley, and my dad Randy Maynard.
Shane Hill engaging a target array at our local range with his XDM 9mm.
As our season progressed, the kids saw major improvements in everyone’s abilities. Some team members started placing higher in the overall at matches, some started placing higher on single stages, some just reduced the amount of mistakes they made throughout the match. Some of this was due to our team practices, however, the most difference was made in dry fire (same goes for any shooter, not just juniors). As a team, we live practice three times a month and have one local match we attended as a team. There are other matches within 100 miles that a lot of the kids also attended.
Mikayla, Dexter and I and our families went to Area 1 this year and had astounding finishes there. Mikayla won 4th place lady, Dexter won Junior champion, I won 3rd place B class open. Mikayla and I also attended the MGM junior camp.
National junior champion, Dexter Bradley, burning down a stage at our local range.
We learned a lot and even brought back some drills for the team to work on at practice! These drills only bettered the team for our big travel match, Columbia Cascade in Albany, Oregon. At Columbia Cascade, Dexter was Match Champion, I was Junior Champion and 1st B Class, Mikayla won 2nd B Class and Olivia won 1st D Class. I am very proud of how well our team did!
Recently, after a team practice, I had the chance to talk with Mikayla Blosser about her thoughts on shooting, and on our team.
Mikayla Blosser: Tearing it up with her predator tactical open gun at Columbia Cascade in Albany Oregon!
"I Like competitive shooting because, everyone’s success or failures depends fully on themselves. I set my own goals and expectations and then I have to be driven enough to work to reach and go beyond those expectations. Meaning I’m truly only limited to what I limit myself to. I also love getting to meet and shoot with the other people in this sport. I have learned so much from so many other shooters that I can apply to all areas of my life and I’ve made some pretty great friends throughout my experience. Plus there’s never a dull moment on the range especially with our team!"
Dexter added, "For the majority of my junior shooting career, I didn’t have many other juniors to practice or compete with, until the Practical Edge Junior Team was born. It’s nice having support from other junior shooters. It’s great being able to mentor the younger shooters on the team."
Olivia shooting an array of steel on a stage at Columbia cascade!
I personally like shooting because unlike other sports, we get to compete with the pros. Shooters are probably the nicest people and so welcoming to new shooters. I like the being on the Practical Edge Jr. Team because before the team existed, we (kids) were competitors who were friendly with each other. Now we are friends who compete against and with each other.