Kevin Trickett’s story began when he started volunteering at Camp Perry with his mom and sisters when he was eight. He started shooting formally at age 10 in a junior program; his sister Katie and his dad coached. He entered his first competition at age 11, a 3-pos. air rifle match at a camp in Rhode Island. With a hand-me-down international shooting jacket, club air rifle, dungarees and sneakers, he stood out on the line of competitors. They were all decked out in their fitted pants and jackets, some towering a foot over him. When the scores were posted, he had not only placed first in the sub-junior category, he had broken a National Record for 3-pos. air rifle, sub-junior 387. This great match was only the beginning. Kevin shot smallbore as an individual and team member with his mother as coach. They traveled and competed in matches locally and across the country, earning themselves many medals and plaques along the way.
Three years ago, Kevin decided to start shooting high-power seriously, although he never gave up smallbore. He started shooting with his father, also an accomplished high-power shooter, as his coach. He loved the sport and with all the support of the club (Reading Rifle) and the members he was able to take his skills and learn from those around him, especially his dad. In his first year of shooting, he was able to earn enough points for his distinguished badge and receive it on stage during his first year of competition. It was a great first year: He made the President’s 100, top placement in the Whistler boy match as an individual and third-place junior on the Deneke Team (six top juniors from the Presidents, NTI and the Whistler boy match totals). He hadn’t had a clue that he had made this team—he showed up on stage in his shorts and t-shirt! This first year of competition was amazing not only from the standpoint of his scores, but also from the support he received and the lifelong friendships he created.
The next spring, smallbore shooting ended with a match at the USA Shooting Nationals in Georgia. Kevin had a chance to shoot next to Matt Emmons, the Olympic gold medal winner. This incentive made him focus harder on each of his shots and his efforts were rewarded with a silver medal in his category.
A week later, he and his mother were driving down to North Carolina to take part in the First Annual Eastern U.S. Junior High Power Clinic. The clinic was held at Camp Butner, N.C., with the Marines and National Guard coaching. After a week of competitions and training he placed second overall, and first place with the Whistler boy team. He learned a lot and had a great time with kids from all over. The camp ended, leaving him about two weeks to go home, re-pack and leave with his dad for Camp Perry for the National Matches. CMP week he made the President’s 100 for the second year and placed as the second place junior overall for the Deneke Trophy Team.
2007 started off with a formal invite to become a member of the Army Marksmanship Unit’s High-power Rifle Team. Kevin did a lot of research on the Army prior to his decision. What jobs would he qualify for in the Army, for how long did he have to sign up? He then sat and talked more with his parents, who are very proud of him.
Early 2007 also saw Kevin shooting smallbore and air rifle. He had earned a placement at the finals in Colorado Springs for the Junior Olympics for .22 rifle, as well as the 3X air match, and his final match at the Palmyra Matches in Pennsylvania. In May 2007, the whole family drove down to shoot in the Eastern Creedmoor Cup. Kevin shot very well—590-20—and ended up as the high junior. He received a Bushmaster Rifle and a case of ammo, donated by Bushmaster.
After he graduated from high school, he turned right around and went back to Camp Butner for the second year. He placed top overall. At the award ceremony, Bob Hughes, when handing him his plaque, announced that this would be Kevin’s last year attending the camp and asked him to tell them why. When he told them that he signed up with the Army and the AMU, the members of the Marines booed him—just fooling around!—and then swarmed him with congratulations and handshakes. Almost as soon as he got home from Camp Butner, he was off to Camp Perry again. Kevin finished up the CMP week making the President’s 100 for the third year in a row, second junior in the Presidents Match, Golden Eagle Trophy Winner, Col. Bill Deneke Trophy High Junior Overall, National Trophy Junior Service Rifle Champion and High Individual Junior Whistler Boy Match.
Kevin had just a few days of rest, then NRA week started. Kevin placed top junior overall in both the Under 21 and the 18-20 categories, receiving two gold medallions. Also placing high junior Service Rifle, he received the Jackson Arms Trophy Plaque and the long range Leech Cup Trophy Plaque for high junior in that match.
Three weeks and many plaques and rifles later he returned home to attend his going-away party that Saturday, since he was leaving for basic training on Monday. What a year it was, and all before he turned 19!The main thing that kept him shooting was the family aspect. The members of the team were and still are his family. Attaining a new personal best or being able to shoot next to a gold medal Olympian makes it exciting and challenging and keeps you reaching for new goals. The main ingredients that kept him motivated were his family and the friends he created while competing—and the memories he made.