EDMONTON – A Junior Canadian Ranger team representing Ontario acquitted itself well shooting against some of the top teenage shots in Canada while competing in the national Junior Ranger marksmanship championship in Edmonton.
“We didn’t come here to win,” said Warrant Officer Sheldon Dewolfe, a Canadian Army instructor with 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group at Canadian Forces Base Borden who was interviewed by phone. “They didn’t win any team prizes but their hearts are not broken, they have some great memories, and they want to come back and win medals next time.”
The team was made up of five Junior Rangers from Fort Hope and five from Kasabonika Lake. They competed over three days with air rifles shooting from prone, kneeling and standing positions. They competed as a team and as individuals.
Junior Ranger Brent Moonias from Fort Hope won the bronze medal in the individual standing position competition. “He shot well, very well,” Warrant Officer Dewolfe said.
“None of the team had ever been out of Ontario before,” he said. “They’ve had a great time. They’ve met people from Nunavut, from across the Arctic, from Victoria all the way to Newfoundland. They’re excited to have competed in a national competition.”
The 10-member Ontario team competed against 50 other Junior Rangers from six other provinces and all three territories.
“They had little to none in the way of training before coming out here to Edmonton,” Warrant Officer Dewolfe said. “They were the least experienced team but they caught on quick. My team is 14- to 16-year olds when some of the other teams are based on experienced 16- to 18-year olds.
“But our team has learned skills using the air rifle at this competition that they can use with (regular full bore) rifles to improve their shooting for hunting and to improve their safe handling of firearms.”
The team stayed at Canadian Forces Base Edmonton where the competition was held. They were able to explore Edmonton and visit the West Edmonton Mall, the largest shopping mall in North America and the 10th largest in the world.
The team members were: Erin Atlookan, Brady Meeseetawageesic, Brent Moonias, Kerry Sagutcheway and Garrick Waswa, all from Fort Hope; and Claudia Albany, Gabriel Begg, Lyndon Brown, Damian Anderson and Sharilyn Anderson, all from Kasabonika Lake. Their coach was Master Corporal John Ray Meeseetawageesic of the Fort Hope Canadian Ranger patrol.
(Sergeant Peter Moon is the public affairs ranger for 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group at CFB Borden.)