Patch continues to stay on target
By MARK PATTON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 15, 2012
HEIDELBERG, Germany — If there’s one thing the Patch Panthers marksmanship team is known for, it’s consistency.
Or maybe it’s consistently good.
Saturday didn’t deviate from either description as the Panthers sent six shooters to compete in a five-team marksmanship match in Heidelberg and walked away with the top six individual finishes on the day.
The defending DODDS-Europe champions also captured Saturday’s team title, amassing 1,370 points on the day. Baumholder and Heidelberg rounded out the top three teams with 1,214 and 1,187 points, respectively. Alconbury, who competed remotely, scored 1,094 and Wiesbaden, fielding a team for the first year, notched 976.
Patch’s Maggie Ehmann and Erika Hoffman continued to provide a lethal one-two combo on the range as Ehmann came into the day with the highest score of the season in DODDS-Europe competition with her 290 performance last weekend. Hoffman came in to Saturday’s match with the third highest of the season at 281.
Saturday, it was Hoffman who got the better of the duo, as her 278 was the day’s highest score, squeaking by Ehmann by a point. Hoffman also notched the highest score in the standing position with a 90.
Ehmann, who scored a 96 in the kneeling position, the highest of the afternoon, said despite her competitiveness, there are days where she’s just out of it, but that doesn’t get her down.
The self-described wolf fanatic who also answers to “Wolfy” said she sees a bit of her favorite animal in herself on the shooting range.
“Wolves are kind of these brave, independent animals that are strong and nothing can get in their way,” Ehmann said.
Patch sophomore Lucas Gilliland tied for third place with teammate Ben Ferguson, both totaling 273 points on the day.
Gilliland said the team as a whole tries to stay relaxed and maintain a fun atmosphere. The first-year competitor said it also doesn’t faze him that marksmanship is known as a sport where girls seemingly have the upper hand.
“Doesn’t really matter to me, I can still put out as much concentration as them,” Gilliland said.
Other competitors, such as Baumholder’s Kris Martinez, said he’s just hoping to get a top 10 finish at next month’s European championships. Martinez, who scored a 256 on Saturday following a 274 his previous outing, finished seventh overall on Saturday.
Wiesbaden freshman Alexis Beverly, who finished with 196 points on Saturday, said she took up marksmanship at her Mom’s urging to get involved in an extracurricular activity.
The freshman is happy she chose marksmanship.
“I think it’s really fun,” Beverly said, who was the second highest scorer on the Wiesbaden team.
Heidelberg captain Joshua Yarbrough said he didn’t have his mojo on his home range on Saturday, as he shot a 243, down from a 270 at his last match.
Yarbrough did manage to score 96.4 points in the prone position, enough to put him in a virtual tie for the top slot with Patch’s Ferguson, who finished with 96.5. Yarbrough said he’s aiming for the top prone score at the European championships. That may not be so far fetched. After all, he scored a 99 in practice and a 98 in the prone during his last match.
The Lions junior, who will be suiting up for Wiesbaden next year, said it’s hard to imagine that this is the last season for Heidelberg’s marksmanship team.
“I’ve lived here for 12 years, now it’s gone,” Yarbrough said about the upcoming closure of the high school.