May 15, 2020
NRA Family Article: California Grizzlies: Like No Other Junior Shooting Team
Click HERE to read the article originally published by NRA Family.
Except from the article: "In truth, the California Grizzliesis really a shooting organization, not an actual team. The HighpowerJunior program that has brought fame to the Grizzly name is the first and currently only branch of a club dedicated to the promotion of the shooting sports. As a 20-year-old junior team captain, Robert Taylor II saw issues firsthand within the California Rifle and Pistol Association’s (CRPA) Junior Highpower Program, and sought a better solution. With the help of his mother, Connie Taylor, and Coach Wayne Fenner, the California Grizzlies was formed to alleviate the previous funding and team selection limitations imposed by CRPA."
"Taylor cites the relationship between current and former Grizzlies as a key to success. “They’re learning how to shoot, they’re learning gun safety, they’re learning [their introduction] into competition from juniors who aren’t much older than they are…kids are gonna connect with people close to their own age bracket.” This is especially valuable in navigating the emotional rollercoaster that all teenagers experience. Even with team members spread across the state, up to 14 hours apart from one another, the team identifies as a family."
"Former California Grizzly and current team Assistant Coach Justin George and current Grizzly and Team Captain Loet Van Hoven agree that they feel most like a family at the National Matches and at what they call “Camp O’Connell.” Run by Grizzlies coach Jim O’Connell, the team spends a week training together in Coalinga, California every summer. “It shows what we need to work on, what we need to do,” Van Hoven reported. George agrees that the experience strengthens those familial bonds, and every year the Grizzlies emerge a much stronger team. “When juniors age out of the Grizzlies, that bond remains for most of them.”"