Chalk up another one for the Putnam County Gun Club’s Junior Smallbore Team.
Seventeen-year-old Zach Jackson, of Madison, has signed a letter of intent to shoot for Murray State University’s rifle team. Jackson makes the third Putnam County team member to earn a collegiate scholarship in recent years.
He said he got interested in Murray State, a school located in western Kentucky, when he went there for a match more than a year ago.
“As soon as I got there, I enjoyed it,” he added. “I really enjoyed their range, and their coach — Alan Lollar — was super-friendly. He came up to me and started talking to me right away.”
Earlier this month, Lollar officially offered Jackson a scholarship. Jackson signed the letter of intent on Dec. 17.
Shooting for Murray State will likely put Jackson on a collision course with two Putnam County teammates who also shoot for Kentucky-based schools. Bryce Ward shoots for Morehead State, and Mitchell Nelson shoots for the University of Kentucky.
Ward and Nelson attended Jackson’s signing ceremony in Madison, as did the three Putnam County coaches — Bill Shank, Jim Reese and Ed Seitz.
Jackson said he got started at competitive shooting at age 12, when he joined the Putnam County squad. In less than five years, he rose from beginner to college rifle prospect.
“I always hoped I would get a scholarship someday,” said the Scott High School senior. “I figured the more I practiced, the better the chance it would happen.”
At least two times a week, Jackson made the hour-long drive from Madison to Eleanor to practice with his teammates. When he couldn’t make it to team practices, he shot at the air rifle range he set up at his home.
Though he said his strength is in the three-position smallbore event, he also plans to shoot air rifle for Murray State.