Gray Stone Day School wins third consecutive Youth Hunter Skills Tournament

Gray Stone Day school wins their third consecutive YHEST title.

Piedmont Middle captures junior division title

Gray Stone Day School won the senior division of the 2019 Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament last Saturday, April 27. The event was held at the John F. Lentz Hunter Education Complex. Piedmont Middle School took top honors in the junior division.

Thirty-four high schools competed in the senior division. Twenty-six middle schools competed in the junior division.

Gray Stone scored 3628 points out of a possible 4000. The Stanly County school made it three in a row, as they also finished first in 2018 and 2017. Piedmont Middle, from Union County, scored a total of 3301 points.

Students demonstrate their outdoor skills and safety knowledge in this yearly event. The students participate in the NCWRC’s Hunter Education Program, which teaches and reinforces those skills.

Josh Jernigan, the shooting sports coordinator for the program, said these competitions are a community effort. He praised Gray Stone for winning three straight.

“Winning three straight championships is an amazing accomplishment and a true testament to commitment and hard work. With their dedicated students, top-notch coaching, and incredible community support, both Gray Stone and Piedmont Middle represent the best of North Carolina,” Jernigan said.

Participants compete in archery, long guns, skills test

The tournament is made up of four events. The teams compete in archery, rifle, and shotgun marksmanship, along with orienteering and a hunter skills and responsibility test.

Gray Stone scored 974 in archery, 870 in shotgun, and 940 in the rifle competitions. They scored 844 in Hunter Skills.

Piedmont Middle scored 961 in archery, 830 in shotgun, and 859 for rifle. The team scored 651 on Hunter Skills.

Forbush Senior took second place in the senior division with a total score of 3609. Piedmont High School finished third with 3527 points. Along with Gray Stone, these schools have been invited to compete in the 2019 Eastern Regional Tournament this summer. That event will be held in Breeseport, N.Y.

In the senior division, Forbush Senior scored 962 in archery, 950 in shotgun, 882 in rifle, and 815 in Hunter Skills to secure their second place finish. Piedmont High School’s scores were 967 for archery, 910 for shotgun, 874 for rifle, and 776 on Hunter Skills.

In the junior division, Southern Alamance Middle shot a 950 in archery, an 800 for shotgun, 855 for rifle, and a 681 in Hunter Skills. Third-place Bethel Middle scored 946 in archery, 830 in shotgun, 869 for rifle, and 661 for Hunter Skills. These two schools, along with Piedmont Middle, also qualified for the Eastern Regional.

Click here for the complete results from the NCWRC.

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Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at