DONIPHAN, Neb. – Maddy Spellman is no stranger to the Cornhusker Trapshoot. She has competed in the annual event for a few years now. Thursday was a first for her. It was the first time the 13-year-old has competed in the event shooting from a wheelchair.
Spellman, who has been shooting since a young age, was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia six years ago. She has undergone chemotherapy, radiation treatment and a stem cell transplant. But since last July, she has been treated for bone cancer after a mass was found in her hip and a spot on her collarbone.
The eighth grader at Aurora Middle School competed on the Crooked Creek trap team that took second place in the junior high ladies division on Thursday.
Tammy Spellman, Maddy’s mother, said her daughter has been shooting from a wheelchair since trap season began in February. Through it all, she never stopped shooting.
Tammy said her daughter has had to learn to shoot a different way. “She missed a few practices due to being in the hospital, but she’s getting used to shooting from a different position now, from a wheelchair,” Tammy said. “She’s not able to move her body the same as other shooters and can’t move her feet.”
Maddy currently is undergoing chemotherapy for two weeks at a time followed by a week off.
Tammy said Maddy has inspired members of the Crooked Creek trap team. “The older kids are always asking if she is going to be shooting,” Tammy said. “Her main goal was to be able to feel well enough to shoot at the Cornhusker Trapshoot.”
Maddy planned to return to the trapshoot on Friday and Saturday to support her brothers, Codey and Michael, who compete on the Crooked Creek senior high team.
Like so many Cornhusker shooters, Maddy started at a young age. “She has always liked target practice since she was little and old enough,” Tammy said.
Payton DeTavernier of Papillion was the top individual in the junior high division. She hit 98 of 100 targets and then won a shoot-off. McKenna Schwisow won the ladies’ division with a 96.
LaVista Junior High Monarch I won the junior high team division with 464 out of 500, Norris Lady won the ladies’ team division with 342, and Platte Valley won the 4-H team competition with a 454.
On Thursday, 864 junior high shooters competed.
Approximately 1,700 senior high students are expected to shoot 75 rounds of 16-yard targets Friday. They will shoot 75 handicap targets Saturday, and the combined scores of the two days will determine the overall champion, the Cornhusker Cup winner.
The junior high results are:
Top 10 Individuals – 1. Payton DeTavernier, Papillion Junior High, 98 of 100 (won shoot-off); 2. Samuel Lech, Karp & Krow 4-H, 98; 3. John DeFord, Lincoln Mickle Middle School, 97; 4. Kyler Smith, Blair, 96; 5. Coley O’Halloran, LaVista Junior High, 96; 6. Camden Rock, LaVista Junior High, 95; 7. Andrew Bednar, Millard West Kiewit, 95; 8. Tyler Johnson, Gordon-Rushville, 95; 9. Mitch Germany, LaVista Junior High, 95; 10. Hunter Howe, Platte Valley, 95; 11. Jackson Dettman, Merrick County 4-H, 95; 12. Jacob Carroll, Columbkille St. Gerald’s, 94; 13. Mason Weller, Merrick County 4-H, 94; 14. Tom Peltz, Columbkille, 94; 15. Dagen Voightman, Louisville, 94; 16. Calin Ortiz, Lincoln Lefler Middle School, 94; 17. Spencer Leach, Garden County, 94; 18. Zack Evans, Platte Valley, 94; 19. Andrew Browning, Blair, 93; 20. Max Smith, Lincoln Pound Middle School, 93.
Top Six Ladies – 1. McKenna Schwisow, Wilber, 96 out of 100; 2. Hannah Jungck, Grand Island Northwest, 93; 3. Jestynne Crankshaw, North Platte, 92; 4. Claire Kee, Gibbon, 91; 5. Hope Nordman, Lincoln Pound Middle School, 89; 6. Mackenzie Burt, Blair, 89.
Top Three 4-H Teams – 1. Platte Valley 4-H I (Zack Evans, Hunter Howe, Gavin Wheeler, Chase Krzyzewski, Jeremy Cripps, 454 out of 500; 2. Merrick County, 4-H, 444; 3. Karp & Krow 4-H, 435.
Top Three Ladies Teams – 1. Norris Lady, (Chloe Bowman, Lauren Glinsmann, Julia Stephenson, Seanna Woodward, Morgan Bice), 342 out of 500; 2. Crooked Creek Pink, Aurora, 330; 3. Grand Island Central Catholic Lady, 224.
Top Six Teams – 1. LaVista Junior High Monarch I (Mitch Germany, Coley O’Halloran, Camden Rock, Jack Meling, Coco White), 464 out of 500; 2. Blair II, 445; 3. North Platte Blue, 434; 4. Fairbury I, 434; 5. Lincoln Schoo Middle School I, 434; 6. Lincoln Scott Middle School Gold, 430.