By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV
February 28, 2023
Shane Arthur, a junior at James Monroe High School, qualified to represent the state of West Virginia at the 4-H National Air Rifle Championship. He will head to Nebraska this June for the national competition. Shane sat down with The Real WV for an interview about his interest in shooting sports, his involvement in the community, and what it means to represent West Virginia on a national level.
TELL US ABOUT ADVANCING TO NATIONALS.
At the State Air Rifle Competition held at the WVU air rifle range, I was privileged enough to represent my home of Monroe County. At the state match, I had the honor of competing against many other peers from across this wonderful state, some of which I will travel to Nebraska with this summer.
NOW YOU WILL REPRESENT YOUR HOME STATE?
It is a dream come true to have the privilege of representing our home state of West Virginia at the National level once again. I can remember the first time I stepped on the range seeing the national qualifying scores, quite intimidated at the time, yet determined to compete at one of the highest levels possible. Not only is representing West Virginia a milestone achievement for me, but an honor, an honor to take part in something more.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SHOOTING?
I can remember the first time in third grade attending the county level 4-H shooting sports meeting. Currently being a Junior in Highschool, I suppose I have been shooting for about nine years now through this program. However, I can remember being introduced to firearms and air guns from the time I was a toddler.
WHAT IS YOUR PRACTICE SCHEDULE?
As far as my practice schedule is concerned, I try to practice once or twice a week at the digital range at Greenbrier East Highschool. Despite attending James Monroe, I was welcomed with arms wide open into their program. While the time dedicated towards practice may not seem like much, after discharging over 100 pellets per practice, it most definitely adds up.
HAVE YOU COMPETED BEFORE?
When it comes to past competitions in this discipline, I have been able to compete at the state competition and qualify for nationals every year I have competed in the senior division. However, during covid, I was unable to find a place to practice so I had no choice but to shoot in our basement.
HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR TIME WHEN YOU’RE NOT SHOOTING?
Outside of shooting air rifle and shotgun competitively, I am an active member of our schools Youth Leadership Association chapter where we most recently attended the Harvard Model United Nations Conference in Boston. Through this program, I am also the President of the Senate in the WV Youth in Government program. Through my time in YG, I have been able to meet many people and pursue many opportunities such as the one right now. However, I also play soccer and run track through my school and partake in many other activities such as livestock judging and livestock quiz bowl of which I competed at the national level as well. In addition to other clubs and organizations I am involved in, there is definitely never a dull moment.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AFTER YOU GRADUATE?
I have recently been accepted into the US Naval Academy’s Summer Seminar program with plans of attending as a student next year. However, if I do not get accepted into the Academy, I would love to study at a renowned university such as Hillsdale College and later pursue a law degree. Since my involvement in Model United Nations and Youth in Government, I have been inspired to pursue a career in foreign policy or politics with additional inspiration from people I have come across. However, I still have time to decide as I am not quite sure what exactly I plan to do after high school.
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO REPRESENT WEST VIRGINIA?
It is important for me to represent West Virginia because as the up-and-coming generation into our society, it is my generation’s job to take the torch and represent our state at the national level. From a kid I have always been ambitious, granted I am still a kid today, but that is beside the point. I look forward to having this honor and representing West Virginia to the highest degree possible.
WHO HELPED YOU ALONG THE WAY TO ACHIEVE THIS GOAL?
I would like to thank Don Dransfield, and all the other 4-H volunteers for coaching me and making this possible, and most notably my parents for their support throughout my shooting career and personal life.
HOW CAN WE AS A COMMUNITY SUPPORT YOU?
As far as support goes, donations to the Doddridge County 4-H leaders association would be greatly appreciated to assist in the financial part of the trip. Other than that, the support from our local community members would mean the world to us as we travel out to Grand Island, Nebraska.
Editor’s Note: Here is the address for the association:
Doddridge County 4-H Leaders Association, 461 Main Street, St. Patrick Center, West Union, WV 26456