With a goal of making the Amateur Trap Association (ATA) All American Team in the 2000 shooting season, 13-year-old Jess Anderson missed his mark by only a very small percentage. With the top 10 shooters in the nationwide sub-junior class being named to the prestigious team, Jess placed 11th, less than 100 points away from the top 10. “This was a good season for us despite not making the top 10,” said Carol Anderson, Jess’ mother. “This was Jess’ first full year of competition, and it really has served as a learning experience for him.” Jess wrapped up the 2000 shooting season at the world’s largest trap shoot “The Grand” which was held in Ohio in August. A shoot that hosted over 46,000 shooters over a two week period, The Grand gave Brady’s young marksman a taste of the big league experience needed to become a national contender. “I would have to say that we were a little intimidated when we first got to the shoot,” said Mrs. Anderson. “The facility itself is huge with a trap line over a mile and a half long.” The Grand competition did not go as well as Jess had hoped, and he struggled to perform at his normal level. Scores in the mid to upper 80s and low 90s were well below his normal average of 96 to 98 percent. When the shoot was all said and done and the numbers for the 2000 shooting season were tabulated, Jess had amassed 484 points. The rankings were announced only recently and Jess’ name fills the number 11 spot. The 10th place shooter only had 557. “The numbers are based upon winning at major shoots,” said Mrs. Anderson. “The difference between 10th and 11th was not that far apart’one other win at a major shoot could have done it. You have to shoot well at the big competitions to score a lot of points.” At The Grand shoot in August, Jess picked up his first major sponsor’a competition gun manufacturer name Kolar. The owner of the gun company had noticed Jess and his abilities from earlier shoots in which Jess had competed, and while at The Grand, he offered him a sponsorship. Jess’ abilities are sure to make his goal a reality. As a young shooter in only his first full competitive season, he broke 93.81 percent or 4,034 of 4,300 targets in singles and 86.38 percent or 2,937 of 3,400 doubles targets. The 2001 shooting season began Sept. 1, 2000, and runs through Aug. 31, 2001. In this season so far with only 400 singles targets and 300 doubles targets shot, he has increased his percentage in singles to 98.50 percent and 92.67 percent in doubles. He plans to compete in many more state ATA shoots this year and also hopes to contribute to the overall standings of the McCulloch County 4-H shooting team by participating in as an active 4-H member. While disappointed in the fact that he did not achieve his goal for the year, Jess is now more determined than ever to make it to the top ranks of the trap shooting world. With a good two years left before he moves up to the next age bracket, things are looking good for this young McCulloch County native to become one of the future members of the elite All American team.