First Annual Young Guns Heath McDonald Memorial Scholarship Awarded

Young Guns co-founder Heath McDonald may have lost his battle with cancer, but his legacy lives on.

posted on August 30, 2023
Matthew Steward Lede

Young Guns Archery is the brainchild of a married couple, Heath and Julie McDonald, devoted to teaching the safe enjoyment of archery and the shooting sports. Coach and founder Heath McDonald lost his battle with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma cancer on September 30th, 2022. Matthew Steward was recently awarded the first annual Memorial scholarship honoring his late coach. Heath’s wife, Julie McDonald stated, “Matthew is exactly why we started our Young Guns Archery program, and we are extremely proud to help this well deserving young man.”

Matthew Steward is a 2022 graduate of Miami Valley CTC and his home school was Valley View. Matthew did not think he was going to go to college until he found his passion for archery. Matthew joined Young Guns Archery team his senior year and had always bow hunted; however, was unaware that competition archery existed. Matthew caught on quickly with his new competition bow and racked up various podium finishes both at the State level and National level.

In 2022, Matthew was the S3DA State and National Shooter of the Year, S3DA Indoor National 3rd place, S3DA National 3D 4th place, and S3DA Outdoor Target National 1st place finisher. Matthew was the first graduate out of the Young Guns Archery program and the first to receive an archery team scholarship from Wabash Valley College. His freshman year at Wabash Valley College, he had an outstanding archery season and finished the year as an Archery Collegiate All-American.

When Heath and Julie McDonald founded the Young Guns Archery youth program, Heath was an avid outdoorsman who taught his wife and kids shooting sports. The McDonald kids competed in competition archery and received many opportunities through archery. Brooke McDonald was recruited to the University of the Cumberlands and earned scholarship money for archery, while also being on the dance team and choir. Trey McDonald received an Olympic Sportsmanship Award (The Jack Kelly Fair Play Award) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and also participated in the World Archery competition in Puerto Rico for Team USA, where he won two Gold medals in 2015. Archery has always been good to the McDonald kids and Young Guns University was created to help get more kids into the sport of archery and bowhunting.

For more information, visit the Young Guns University S3DA Facebook page.


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