The Nebraska One Box Rock Crushers shotgun team traveled to San Antonio, Texas to compete
in the USAYESS (USA Youth Education in Shooting Sports) Junior Clay Target National Championships
June 17 through the 20 th . The team returned home with the title and trophy of National Champions.
The Rock Crushers last took the team title in 2016 and had to settle for Runner-up honors in 2017 and
2018 and a Third-place finish in 2019. With a year off due to COVID-19, they were eager to return to
competition on a national level.
In the high overall team competition, the top five scores from each team for 100 target events in
American Skeet, American Trap, Sporting Clays and Super Sporting are tallied to determine the top all-
around shooting teams. Out of 2,000 possible targets, the Rock Crushers put up an impressive team
score of 1,832, which was 100 targets more than second-place Fishhawk Talons of the Seattle Skeet and
Trap Club from Washington state. The Fort Worth, Texas Claymores came in third with a score of 1,716.
The Rock Crushers jumped out to a 34 target lead after the first event of team competition
which was American Skeet. The team posted an amazing team skeet score of 488/500, missing only 12
targets. Team members contributing to that score were Jacob Uphoff (99/100), Zach Smith and Mason
Pillard both with 98/100, Leighton Webb (97/100) and Cort West (96/100). As might be expected, those
scores were also good enough to put each of those boys at the top of the individual skeet standings,
with Uphoff tying for first in senior men, Smith, Webb and West finishing third, fourth and fifth
respectively and Pillard taking first place in junior varsity men. Also placing individually in Skeet were
Zach Hinze, Champion Intermediate men (95/100) and Elijah Smith, Champion Novice Men (91/100).
Rock Crusher alum, Max Werner also took champion honors in the collegiate division with a 97. The
Junior Varsity squad of Kellin Nelson, Hudson Werkmeister, Jackson Hansen, Micaiah Barber and Hinze,
and the Senior squad of Uphoff, Josh McFate,Webb, West and Zach Smith both took champion squad
honors in skeet, while the mixed squad of Pillard, Lucas Bell, John Leiting, Cody Nelson and Travis
Woodward took a bronze medal.
In the Super Sporting event, Elijah Smith and Teagan Woodward finished first and second Novice
Men, Zach Hinze was Intermediate Men’s champion, Uphoff and Zach Smith finished first and third
respectively in Senior Men and Max Werner took third in the College division. Squad awards were
Mixed Squad second place by Uphoff, Zach Smith, Webb, Leiting and Pillard, followed in third place by
West, Werner, Travis Woodward, Bell and McFate.
Saturday morning, the team competed in Skeet Doubles with Elijah Smith finishing second in
Novice Men, Pillard finishing Junior Varsity champion; Uphoff and Webb finishing first and second in
Senior Men and Werner taking second place in the College division.
In Sporting Clays, Elijah Smith took champion honors in Novice Men, Zach Hinze was
Intermediate champion, Zach Smith was Senior Men’s runner-up and Werner was champion of the
College division. The Intermediate squad of Hinze, Micaiah Barber, Jacksen Hansen, Kellin Nelson and
Hudson Werkmeister took home champion Sporting Clays medals.
Sunday morning, the team competed in Doubles Trap, with Elijah Smith and Teagan Woodward
finishing second and third respectively in Novice Men; Zach Hinze taking another champion medal in
Intermediate Men and Pillard taking the silver in JV Men. Werner took another gold medal in the College
division. In squad competition, Hinze, Werkmeister, Barber, Hansen and Kellin Nelson took gold medals
and the Varsity squad of Uphoff, Webb, West, Cody Nelson and Travis Woodward took silver in their
In the final event, American Trap, Teagan Woodward finished as champion, with Elijah Smith
close behind with the silver medal in Novice Men. Hinze finished third in Intermediate men. The Mixed
squad of Zach Smith, Pillard, Bell, Leiting and McFate took champion honors. Max Werner also took
another gold medal in the College division for American Trap.
In the final All-Around standings, the Rock Crushers finished in impressive fashion by placing five
seniors in the top ten and taking home all three medals, with Leighton Webb taking the bronze, Jacob
Uphoff the silver and Zach Smith finishing at the top of the 187 other shooters as the High All-Around
shooter with a total of 373/400 following an exciting shoot-off against Gregory Stewart from of the RF
&GC Crushers team from the State of Washington. Cort West had a top ten finish in the All-Around in
sixth and Travis Woodward finished tied for ninth place. Zach Hinze was Intermediate All-Around
champion, with Kellin Nelson in fifth. Elijah Smith and Teagan Woodward were champion and runner-up
in Novice Men. Max Werner continued his success by taking the All-Around College champion medal.
As evidence of the Rock Crushers’ dominance at the event, they took the gold medal in five of the six
mens’ age groups for individual high score in the combined skeet/trap/sporting/super sporting scoring.
In the international bunker trap and international skeet competitions that took place Thursday
at Kerville, Texas, Elijah Smith took Novice gold in both events, Zach Hinze doubled up winning both
events in Intermediate Men and Mason Pillard followed suit winning both events in the Junior Varsity
division. In Senior Men International Bunker Trap, Cort West took the bronze and Jacob Uphoff and
Leighton Webb tied for first, with Webb winning the shoot-off. In International Skeet Senior Mens’
division, the Rock Crushers again occupied the podium with Uphoff, Zach Smith and Webb taking gold,
silver and bronze respectively. Max Werner took the gold in the College Division in International Skeet
In the “Stave vs. State” competition, Cort West, Leighton Webb, Zach Smith, Mason Pillard and
Jacob Uphoff represented the State of Nebraska and claimed the Championship medals for that event as
This year marked the eighteenth year of the Rock Crushers competing on a national level under
head coach Dave Stunkel. 24 teams were represented from across the country in the competition,
including teams from Nebraska, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Minnesota, Washington and Texas.
The 2021 USAYESS Championship continued Coach Stunkel’s string of the Rock Crushers taking
home at least one award every year in national competition in which they have competed, and as has
become common for his teams, this year, his boys placed in numerous team, squad and individual
For seniors Travis Woodward, Cort West, Leighton Webb and Josh McFate, capturing a National
Championship was a good way to wind up their high school shooting careers. Coach Stunkel stated that
these four seniors have provided excellent leadership and guidance to the younger shooters on the
team, which is a big part of what keeps the program so successful and that next year looks to be another
chance to repeat the success of this year’s team with some young shooters that are already putting up
The USAYESS National Championship competition capped off another successful year for the
Nebraska One Box Rock Crushers. In addition to their success at Nationals, the team also finished as
USAYESS Nebraska State Champions with numerous individual and squad victories at that competition.
The Rock Crushers also wanted to make a point to thank all of their supporters in the community, Dick
Phillips and especially to the Nebraska One Box Pheasant Hunt organization for all that they do to
contribute to the team’s success.