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Kids outshoot cops again in challenge
4-H sharpshooters win BB gun target test
A group of youngsters and law enforcement personnel participate in the Cops and Kids Challenge BB gun shooting competition Saturday at the Chicopee Woods Agriculture Center. - photo by Tom Reed

Once again, Hall County's 4-H kids aren't afraid to take on the cops.

The seventh annual Cops & Kids target challenge was held Saturday at the Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center.

Some 35 shooters competed in the event, including 22 kids and 15 Gainesville and Hall County law enforcement officers.

However, using Daisy Competition BB guns instead of their standard rifles put the law officers at a great disadvantage as the youngsters again prevailed.

The 4-H kids practice weekly to prepare for such competitions.

North Hall Middle School seventh-grader Krista Smith competed for her third year in a row. She has also competed at the state level twice.

"I really do enjoy going against the cops; we can take them on any day," Smith said with a confident smile.

"Also, having a sheriff from Stephens County as a stepdad gave me the extra boost and friendly competition to want to win."

Each year, the competition gets new participants as well as the dozen returning ones.

Jasmine Tumlin, a seventh-grader from South Hall Middle, competed for the first time.

"Competing alongside a good friend really helps the nerves," Tumlin said. "And since I enjoy shooting guns, today was an overall fun experience."

Tumlin joined 4-H Club thanks to a friend who had competed in previous years.

After almost losing funding for the program last year, and with it the risk of attendance at the state meet, club officials decided that the Cops & Kids challenge is key in keeping it running.

The chance to compete at a state level makes the competition even better.

Jesse Pieschke, an eighth-grader at Chestatee Academy, has gone to state four times, and plans on returning this year.

"The key to winning and shooting a good target is focus," he said. "There is no need to be nervous if you just remain confident in your shot."

With his family by his side, Jesse will be headed to state "focused."

The friendly competition allows law enforcement officers to let down their guards and enjoy an afternoon with the kids.

"We like the kids to interact with law enforcement and to learn to respect them and their duties," said Sherman Pass, 4-H coordinator and coach of the Hall County team.

"It also shows a positive connection between the kids and the guns they're using."


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