4-H shooter earns 4-year scholarship
SUDLERSVILLE — Zachary Schmidt, 18, of Sudlersville and an 11-year member of the Queen Anne’s County 4-H Marksmanship Club is off to Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Ala., this fall having been recruited for his marksmanship skills and having been awarded a four-year athletic scholarship to shoot for JSU’s NCAA Division 1 rifle team. This year JSU’s rifle team ranked 10th in the nation. He signed his National Letter of Intent, which commits Zach to attend JSU as a full-time student
and awards athletic scholarship to partially offset the cost of college tuition.
Zach, who is currently a senior at Queen Anne’s County High School, has been shooting rifle since he was 8 years old and competing in the sport since he was 10. He has earned a number of distinguished titles including two time Maryland State 4-H Smallbore Rifle Champion, in 2014 and 2015. Zach has qualified and competed at the Junior Olympics in rifle sport twice having earned a qualification spot last year having won Maryland bronze medalist in the men’s air rifle event and silver in men’s smallbore event.
This year Zach was again Maryland’s bronze medalist in air rifle and gold medalist in men’s smallbore earning him qualification positions to compete in the Junior Olympics at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Last fall, Zach was overall champion of the University of Akron smallbore rifle event and in June of last year, received a gold medal at the USA Shooting National Championships for high score in the J2 division.
Zach holds the NRA Distinguished Expert qualification in both air and smallbore rifle as well as the NRA’s second highest classification of “Master” in Precision Air Rifle and Metric Position Indoor and the NRA’s third highest classification of “Expert” in International Air Rifle as well as Metric Position Outdoor.
He has completed extensive training in addition to participation in the 4-H Marksmanship Club by attending rifle camps sponsored by the National Rifle Association, Civilian Marksmanship Program and the Army Marksmanship Program at Fort Benning.
Zach will pursue a degree in Homeland Security while at Jacksonville State and is currently an intern at the Queen Anne’s County Department of Emergency Services. He has completed eight certification programs with the Federal Emergency Management Association and through the Sudlersville youth group, participated in disaster relief efforts following Hurricanes Irene, Sandy, and Joaquin.
In addition to 4-H, Zach is an active member of Calvary-Asbury United Methodist Church and the Sudlersville Youth Group. He works part time on his family’s farm. He is the son of Hans and Jennie Schmidt of Sudlersville.
Zach brings to eight the total number of current members or alumni of the Queen Anne’s County 4-H Marksmanship club who are currently attending college on athletic scholarships and competing on NCAA rifle teams. For more information about the 4-H Marksmanship club, visit https://www.facebook. com/qarifle/ or call the 4H Extension Office at 410-7580166.
Zach Schmidt has been shooting since he was 8.
Zach Schmidt, center, signs his letter of intent to attend Jacksonville State University on a fouryear athletic scholarship. He will compete on the school’s rifle team. With him are his parents Hans and Jennifer Schmidt.