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Cathedral’s new ‘7SorrowsShooting’ team does well at event

NATCHEZ — Cathedral School has a newly formed shooting program and its team is called the ‘7SorrowsShooting’ team, which did quite well last Saturday as the Mississippi Scholastic Shooting Program had its First Fall Qualifier Shoot at McIvor Shooting Facility in Sardis.

“We competed against almost 900 from across the state. Out of over 300 squads, we had four teams finish in the top 50,” coach Ryan Marchbanks said.

One team finished in 19th place, another team in 25th place, another team in 27th place, and another team in 47th place. Not bad for a team which started just a few months ago and had to go through a tedious process about a year and a half ago before Marchbanks and fellow coach Nathan Stubbs could even this program going.

“Back in May or June of last year we heard about it. Nathan and I have been friends for a long time. He and I have been shooting for a long time,” Marchbanks said. “Nathan is a Cathedral graduate and I graduated from Trinity (Episcopal).”

“Me and (Marchbanks) brought it to Cathedral,” Stubbs said. “It’s the Mississippi Scholastic Shooting Program. They can earn scholarships. We got the grant written and we brought it to Cathedral.”

As for what Marchbanks and Stubbs had to do even before thinking about starting a shooting program, Marchbanks said. “We had to get certified as instructors, which means we applied to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to become certified hunter education instructors. That has to happen before you join or start a shooting team.”

Marchbanks said Cathedral’s shooting program started with tryouts back in August, adding, “anybody that was interested in joining the team had to pass certification. I could only take 24 kids total to join the team. That’s the limit. We had eight girls try out, but none of them made it. I was proud of them for trying (to make the team). We had 15 kids who had never shot a shotgun try out for the team. Even though they didn’t make the team, they were certified for hunter’s education.”

“We were very surprised at how many tried out for the program,” Stubbs said. “We thought we would have 20 and we had 46 try out for the team.”

The program had to have eight scheduled practices and each coach has to be a certified instructor, Marchbanks said. The competition side consists of two qualifying events. The first one was last Saturday and Marchbanks said the Second Fall Qualifier Shoot will be on Dec. 5 at Turcotte Shooting Facility in Jackson, which he said is a public shooting range. He also said that those are sporting clay events.

“I have four varsity squads and each squad is three team. They shoot sporting clays in teams of three,” Marchbanks said. “There are also four junior varsity squads. At the competition, each shooter shoots 100 targets.”

“Within a few days of that, probably Dec. 8, we’ll know how many of our teams qualify for State,” Stubbs said.

It’s three-man teams. As it stands right now, we have four three-man teams that would make it to state, which is in May. If they make it, they would shoot skeets and traps,” Stubbs said. “That’s only if they make it to state.”

The top three shooters on Cathedral’s team at the First Fall Qualifier Shoot were Charlie Meng, who shot a personal-best 93 out of 100; Crews Marchbanks, Ryan’s son, who had a personal-best 91 out of 100; and Jack Henry Stubbs, Nathan’s son, who shot an 88 out of 100.

“Those three kids’ teams were very successful,” Nathan said. “As a team, we did real well. We probably had three other teams that are within striking distance of making it to state. We could easily have six or seven teams make it to state. So they did very well. You’re talking about of 330 teams, we had seven in the top 70. The top 50 squads in the state go to State.”

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