Pierce County Win It All At 4-H State BB Match

Erika Cochran | June 4, 2019

As soon as the new year came, I knew one of my favorite events of the year was coming, the 4-H State BB match at Rock Eagle 4-H Center. I also was able to add attending the 4-H state matches for archery, rifle and pistol to my list of events that I was going to go to this year. The anticipation of getting to watch talented Georgia youth at Rock Eagle was building as the end of April was nearing. Both events were back-to-back weekends at Rock Eagle, with the matches for archery, rifle and pistol first.

My mind was blown away with how many kids and different matches were taking place for the weekend of archery, rifle and pistol at Rock Eagle on Saturday, April 27. There were more than 500 kids at the Rock Eagle campus that weekend. 

Extension 4-H Specialist Craven Hudson took some time to show me around to the different events. During our discussion, I mentioned to him how amazed I was that so much was going on, but he didn’t have to be at each event that was taking place. He mentioned that having the number of volunteers that 4-H has makes it possible. 

As I walked around and spoke with a number of parents and coaches, I learned that some of the 4-H kids were also involved in the Junior Olympics. This took me by surprise and just shows what can happen when a child is involved in 4-H, as well as dedication, practice and hard work. Another conversation with a parent was regarding her two daughters and their participation in archery. She explained to me about how much they practice, as well as their balancing of 4-H and their involvement in Georgia S3DA. From that day alone, I learned there are many additional opportunities for kids to sharpen their shooting sports skills.

The Pierce County Team 1 won the 4-H State BB Match on May 4 at Rock Eagle, beating 74 other teams.

Good things were also happening at the State BB match I attended on May 4 while 500 kids competed. The parents and kids were troopers that day as they dealt with intermittent rain and storms. In between the rain showers, I was able to talk to parents and a few coaches. I ended up speaking with the Forsyth County team and learned quickly they had a lot of talent in addition to BB shooting. A father-and-son team built a motorized stand from spare parts that is controlled by a remote that allows them to move their shooting box up and down to the height that is needed. 

Another father and his three sons from Forsyth County have created rifle sights, as well as other products for their Daisy BB guns. If you are interested in look at their sights and other products, visit 

“If we’re making it, it’s only because you can’t buy it anywhere else,” the father told me.

For the second year in a row, Pierce County took home the plaque for top overall team. The top overall shooter went to Haley Brannen of the Tift County 4-H BB team.

Overall, there is so much to 4-H Project S.A.F.E programs. If someone was just looking at the surface of the programs, they would see kids competing in shooting sports and learning the safety of how to handle what they use. However, that is just the surface and doesn’t begin to show everything else that is going on in the programs and what the kids are learning and involved in. In addition, 4-H offers a lot more than shooting programs. There is truly something for everyone. 

For more on the 4-H Project S.A.F.E. program or to learn how to get involved in 4-H, call your county extension office, or go to

Georgia 4-H Project S.A.F.E.


GA 4-H’s primary goal is positive youth development. We accomplish this through numerous learning opportunities led by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension professionals or trained volunteers.

GA 4-H Project SAFE is an extremely popular 4-H program that teaches valuable life skills through participation in team target sports.

Safety is our highest priority. Volunteers who work with youth in Project SAFE must become certified coaches. Certification involves passing background screening and attending a weekend training. The training covers the mission of GA 4-H, youth development, safety, risk management, specialized training in the sport and overall program management. Coaches must continue to pass risk management training each year.

Project SAFE provides youth a place where they can develop a sense of belonging, learn teamwork in a safe environment and increase concentration skills.

Project SAFE like all 4-H Clubs provide youth with positive interactions with supportive adults which is so important in their development.

Project SAFE 4-H Clubs take place in over 110 Georgia counties.

The top shooter from 500 kids was Haley Brannen from Tift County. Haley shot a 484-24.

Rain, rain go away! It was tent city at the 4-H State BB Match at Rock Eagle on May 4. However, you can rest assure that the 74 teams that competed this year were prepared for all kinds of weather and conditions.

Archery Senior Compound Individual winner Matthew Russell with Walton County.

Archery Junior Compound Individual winner Sydney Griffith from Grady County.

Archery Cloverleaf Compound Team winners from Lowndes County.

22 Rimfire Open Individual winner Sawyer Williams with Bartow County.

22 Rimfire Scope Individual winner Jonah Johnson with Walker County

Archery Cloverleaf Compound Individual winner Colbie Wallace, of Lowndes County.

Archery Junior Compound Team winners from Grady County.

This Banks County team won the Archery Senior Compound Team division at Rock Eagle. Team members are (from left): Tanner Foster, Garrett Stephens, Hunter Taylor and Jake Sanders. In individual competition, Garrett Stephens placed second and Tanner Foster was fourth. These guys will be going to Grand Island, Nebraska June 23-28 to compete in the 4-H Nationals.



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