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New Event Fired at the National Trophy Rifle Matches

Written by Sommer Wood, CMP Writer

The Civilian Marksmanship Program added a new trophy to the National Trophy Rifle Matches. The trophy titled "Freedom's Fire" will be engraved with the winners names of the new National Trophy Junior Team Match. A total of 92 Junior Highpower teams participated in the new Junior Team Match.

The Freedom’s Fire Trophy has the first pair of names to be engraved on its base. Mark Nations, 19, and Christopher Hudock, 19, both of Raleigh, North Carolina, won the inaugural National Trophy Junior Team Match (NTJT) at Camp Perry on 5 August. The new 2-person team event took the place of the Whistler Boy Junior Service Rifle Team Match, which has been moved to the NRA Highpower phase at Camp Perry.

Like the Whistler Boy Junior Team Match, the NTJT is for two-person junior service rifle teams. Each team member shoots the 50-shot National Match Course with coaching permitted. Slow-fire stages use team-style pair firing and in true National Trophy Match style, no sighters are permitted.

The NTJT is open to teams sponsored by CMP-affiliated state associations and clubs. Team members are required to be juniors entered in the National Trophy Rifle Matches. The CMP provided National Matches Junior Support funding for the new event, as it previously did for the Whistler Boy.

The Deneke Trophy Aggregate that honors the annual National Junior Service Rifle Team now includes scores fired in NTJT together with scores from the President’s and National Trophy Individual Matches. Junior service rifle shooters from states that did not have other juniors at Camp Perry were be able to shoot on at-large teams so they could still compete for the Deneke Trophy Aggregate.

Participation was strong for the new event with 92 teams posting scores. For the Junior Marksmanship Support Group-1 (JMSG) team of Nations and Hudock, the win put them in familiar territory. Both have excelled at the National Matches in recent years. Hudock won the 2008 Springfield Rifle Match, was the High Junior in the 2008 Vintage Military Match and won the 2009 M9 Pistol EIC Match. Nations was the High Junior in the 2009 National Trophy Individual Match and earned a slot on the Deneke Trophy Aggregate team in 2008.

The Junior Marksmanship Support Group-1 team of Mark Nations, 19, and Christopher Hudock, 19, from Raleigh, North Carolina won the first National Trophy Junior Team Match. They will hold the distinction of being the first named engraved on the new Freedom's Fire Trophy.

This is the fourth year that Nations and Hudock have shot as a 2-person team during the National Trophy Rifle Matches. The duo placed third in the 2008 Whistler Boy; their highest placement prior to this year’s victory in the NTJT. Kenneth Steen coached the winning team, which was one of nine junior teams representing JMSG from North Carolina.

The JMSG-1 team shot a 957-25 to outpace Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Gold, who shot a 955-27. Tyler Rico and Evan Ksenzulak fired for the second place team that was coached by Thomas Kirby. Rico has had an excellent showing at the 2009 National Matches, and fired the highest individual score of the day with a 490-16.

Nations and Hudock will be the first recipients of the new Freedom’s Fire Trophy. The new bronze statue features a soaring eagle that is placed on top of a black marble base. “It is a really nice looking trophy, and it is an honor to be the first ones to have our names inscribed on it,” said Nations.

“When thinking of how old some of the other trophies are and the tradition behind them, it is pretty cool to know that a hundred years from now our names will be a part of that history,” said Hudock.

Mark Ohlinger’s son, JJ Ohlinger, has competed in the last five Whistler Boy Matches, and returned this year to compete in the NTJT. “This was a great event, it was a very smooth transition from the Whistler Boy to the new match,” said the elder Ohlinger.

The Ohio Rifle and Pistol Association had five junior teams entered in the new National Trophy Junior Team Match, the event took the place of the of the Whistler Boy Match.

The Olingers, of Columbus, Ohio have eight family members competing in the National Trophy Matches and CMP Games this week. JJ shot the in the NTJT with the Ohio Rifle and Pistol Association, which had five junior teams competing in the match. “We look forward to coming back next year,” said Mark.

To find complete results from the 2009 National Trophy Junior Team Match, please visit