The annual Elks Hoop Shoot was held on Saturday at the Reeves Community Center, hosted by Mount Airy Elks Lodge #2061.
The event, which is sponsored nationally by the Elks, begins at a local level early each year. In Surry County, the preliminary contest began in the schools, where nearly 1,500 children participated for the chance to advance to the local lodge shoot. A total of 39 children competed at Reeves on Sunday. The competitors were divided into age groups and had to shoot 25 free throws each.
In the 8-9 boys’ division, Damen Hazelwood of Copeland Elementary won the competition by making 23 of his 25 shots. Talon Mason of Pilot Mountain Elementary was second, making 18.
In the 8-9 girls’ division, Kenidi Hall from Rockford Elementary School hit 14 of 25 free throws. In second place was Westin McCraw from Franklin Elementary, who was one of a number of competitors who made nine shots and then won in a tiebreaker.
Mason Jewell won the 10-11 boys’ division with 16 makes. Luke Bruner of Pilot Elementary was right on his heels with 15.
In the 10-11 girls, Layla Sawyers of Dobson Elementary won with 10 makes. Angel Adams came in second in a tiebreaker after making seven.
Chad Johnson of Mount Airy Middle School won the 12-13 boys’ division with 22 makes out of 25. Ben Dupree of Meadowview Middle made 14 out of 25 to place second.
Brooklyn Gammons of Southeast Middle was the winner in the girls’ 12-13 division with 19 of 25 makes. Madison Creed of Meadowview came in second with six makes.
The winners in each division will now compete at the District Hoop Shoot in Winston- Salem, NC on January 27, 2018, where the winners will then advance to the North Carolina State Elks Hoop Shoot in Greensboro on Feb. 10.
NC State Hoop Shoot Director Mark Alderman said all the youth that participate in the Elks Hoop Shoot Program are winners, where they learn to compete, connect, and succeed. The Elks National Hoop Shoot Free Throw Program provides a character-building, competitive experience for all contestants. With hours of practice at every level of competition, parents connect with their child throughout the Hoop Shoot Experience. Through healthy competition and practice, contestants develop grit that aids them in achieving success in school and life.