Courtesy photo – Cohen Harre poses with his trophy and other awards after winning first place against 950 other shooters at the Cornhusker State Shoot.
There was a south breeze and it was just cool enough for a sweatshirt at Doniphan, Neb. for the Cornhusker State Shoot at the end of April.
Cohen Harre, an eighth grader at Exeter-Milligan and a member of the Exeter-Milligan-Friend trap team was ready for the shoot. Juniors (participants through eighth grade) shoot 100 clay rocks to determine their position.
Harre just had “a feeling that day” as he shot a 25, 24, 25 and 24. “I didn’t know right away I was tied for first. In the past years a straight 100 had won the championship.”
He found out soon enough he was tied for first with a female shooter from the Norris team. As they were tied, she could have taken the option to claim the top female junior shooter prize and they both would have finished on top. Instead, she gave up the top female spot to engage Harre in a shoot off.
They had a 50 rock shoot off. Harre recalls he missed the third rock and missed the first two on the next post but he ran the second box (all 25). His competitor also shot a 22 on the first box but missed one on the second box and finished with one rock under Harre.
He has been “shooting since I was eight. It hasn’t really set in that I’ve actually won one of the biggest shoots I’ll experience. ”
He ended up as the champion of the 951 participants and received a trophy, an engraved leather shell bag along with a flat of shells.
He comes from a long line of shooters as his grandfather Kenny Harre helped start the Exeter-Fairmont trap team in the mid 90’s, which later formed into Exeter-Milligan-Friend team for years before his son, Justin (and Cohen’s dad) took over as head coach in 2010.
“This season the Junior team (Carly Uffelman, Conner Uffelman, Jaxson Brandt & Grady Bresson) that Cohen shot with all year had great success, they shot in some really difficult conditions and always came out on top at Conference. It was great to finally get a day at the State shoot where the kids could just go out and shoot and not worry about a 40 mph wind in their face or freezing conditions. It turned out that it was his day and he was fortunate to end up on top. As a side note, due to some rules at the State shoot, that same team would have ended up 3rd in the state with the score they shot that day as they hit 441 out of 500 rocks,“ according to Coach Justin Harre.
As a parent and a coach it was nerve wracking to watch the shoot off for first place, “There was a very big audience for the two kids to shoot in front of and they both did really well. The cool thing to see was all of their teammates and competitors throughout the year come up and cheer them on,” Justin added.
Justin and his wife, Sharlene are extremely proud of Cohen and have made it a family affair, “We enjoy shooting as a family and it is something we can do together long after he is out of school. The relationships that are formed through this sport are priceless and he just loves to go and shoot and be with his friends. He has grown up around this sport his whole life and has some really good people that support him and give him advice throughout the years.”
Next year Harre will be shooting in the senior division and with only a couple hundred more shooters to compete against he will again land toward the top.