Outdoor Type: Sharpshooter sisters reflect

By Larry LaGrange

After having graded maybe a million student papers as an English teacher, I often would find a writing that really sparkled and wished that others could have access to some of those well-expressed words. Last fall the Preston Weisheit deer hunting family got to tell their story through this column.  This time two Seitz sisters, daughters of Mark and Katrina Seitz of Velpen, get their say. Among others, these two have excelled at shooting in the Jasper Legion Post 147-sponsored Southern Indiana Sharpshooters club.

First up is Abby, a 15-year-old:

“When I first joined shooting sports, it was mostly to learn gun safety and how to properly handle a gun. I have been in the club for six years, and I have gone from new shooter to junior coach. Since I learned the basics and fundamentals of shooting through air rifles, I also have become a lot more comfortable with guns in general. Before shooting sports, … I was scared to shoot, but now I love it. Because of this sport, I have learned so much more than just how to shoot a gun. I’ve learned about the history of the Legion and about our country’s history by attending the meetings and sitting and talking to veterans, and by just listening to the incredible stories of people who were part of history. Yes, I know how to handle a gun now, but I have learned more than just how to shoot.”

Courtesy photo
Abby and Emilee Seitz of Velpen are ambassadors for the Southern Indiana Sharpshooters club, sponsored by the Jasper Legion Post 147.

Now it’s 17-year-old Emilee’s turn:

“I joined the Sharpshooters when I was 11. This is my sixth season, and I hold twenty gold medals, two silver, and two bronze, six of which are at state level and the others from various competitions.

“In the last two seasons, after I got my NRA certification, I’ve had the opportunity to help coach our new and incoming shooters to learn their positions and helping them along their shooting journey. Local competitions go as far as Versailles; we also shoot in Seymour, Georgetown, and Shoals. Having qualified for regionals has given me the opportunity to travel all the way up to Camp Perry, Ohio. We also just recently traveled to Ft. Wayne for a junior Olympics qualifier.

“Shooting sports has been one of the most impactful things I’ve experienced in my life. Not only has it taught me how to shoot safely and well, but it’s given me opportunities I never could’ve imagined. I’ve met numerous veterans who have served our country and continue roles of leadership in the community, and I’ve gotten the chance in ways to serve them in return. I’ve also received congratulation letters from State Senator Mark Messmer, and I got to show the Chief of Police my rifle and assist him with the positioning.

“I’ve spent a lot of time and continue to learn and practice ways to perfect my shooting.   There are two things that aren’t related to shooting that I’ve learned from Shooting Sports and from my coach, the first being respect. Veterans have served and fought but continue to hold their ground and are most often highly appreciative people who just want the next generation to continue to build up and protect our country in the name of God. For that, I’ve grown a high-level of respect for veterans as well as for people who have the same enthusiasm and determination to make our county ‘one nation, under God.’ I have learned to be a person who is driven to make that come true through everything I do. Good, God-driven people are what our country needs, and shooting sports has taught me to be just that.

“I recommend Legion Shooting Sports to everyone, kid and teen. I intend to come back after high school and help coach the same things I was taught to the next shooters.”

Well said, Abby and Emilee.

Late note: Emilee has won the Top Shooter Award for Indiana. Congratulations to her, Abby, and the staff of adults and parents who sponsor this program. Information is available at the Southern Indiana Sharpshooters Facebook page or by contacting Daniel Lawson at 812-661-2440 or dble754@gmail.com.

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