GLEN ROSE – She has served as the National Rifle Association/Brownells Youth Shooting Sports Ambassador for the National High School Rodeo (NHSR), qualified four years in a row to compete at the National High School Rodeo Finals, is a member of the National Honor Society, participates in theatre, FFA, POWERSET and reining and cutting horse events. Yes, this Glen Rose High School senior has already accomplished a lot.
Now, Katy Davis is packing her bags in preparations for the NHSR Finals.
When Davis heads out July 17-23, it will be her fourth time competing on the Texas Light Rifle Shooting Team.
“The rifle team always does pretty good,” Davis said. “We’re usually in the top ten as far as teams go. The last few years in shooting, I’ve placed in the top 50 at least. I’m pretty sure I’ve placed 35 or above every time. There is about 120 participants total, they take the top four from each state and there’s 48 states that compete.”
Davis also competed in the cutting event of the Texas High School Rodeo Association State finals over the weekend in Abilene. She finished 18th in the 45-competitor field with 11.00 points – just 10 points out of the top-10 in the girls cutting event.
“The Texas State Finals is one of the biggest rodeos in the country,” Davis explained. “It’s so competitive. If you get to nationals on Texas team, people respect you.”
As for the rifle competition, Davis knows exactly what she is up against. After all, she said she has competed against the same three people every year at finals thus far and is looking forward to competing against them again.
“I think the coolest thing about my team that is going to nationals this year is that first place winner, Madison Myers, the second place winner, Sissy Winn, and I was third place, and my friend Will Wright, fourth place winner, have competed against each other since junior high,” Davis explained. “All four of us have gone to nationals together every year. Our team has kind of stuck together. We’ll change places, but that pretty much is the only thing that has happened.”
Although it is her senior year, it will not be her fourth and final shot at a national finals berth. Davis has one more shot at winning a coveted national title after graduation, so the pressure of the last hurrah should not be a factor.
“I get to compete next year. Even though I will be graduated, they still let you compete,” Davis explained.
“Now that I’ve made it to nationals this year, it’s hitting me that I have one year left. I have one chance left to go to nationals for the fifth time.”
Davis is hopeful that with a more flexible schedule during her senior year that she will be able to compete in finals for both horses and the Light Rifle Team.
“I didn’t get practice this year in shooting as much as I normally would,” Davis said. “I had a conflict come up with the timing of nationals so I didn’t think I was going to get to go to nationals.”
With such a busy schedule, Davis realized that nationals and a two-week long theatre workshop at Stephen F. Austin were booked for the same time.
“The workshop makes me eligible for scholarships. So I went ahead and shot with the mindset of, ‘If I don’t make it to nationals, then I don’t have that conflict,’” Davis explained. “And then I ended up doing better than I had done in the past three years. It’s kind of a conflict, but people are pretty good about working with me.”
Davis is looking forward to showing off her skills and representing Texas at the finals for another year.
“Going to nationals as one of the top four in Texas is an honor, it’s a really, really big deal. If you’re going to state, it’s amazing, if you go to nationals, then you’re the top in your state,” a passionate Davis explained. “Right now I can say I’m third in the state for shooting, and there’s a lot of people in this state verses the other states. There are about 600 people I compete against just in the state. I guess you feel a little bit more honored when you go to nationals and you’re from Texas. It’s the Texas pride thing.”
Along with participating in finals for the National High School Rodeo Association, Davis is honored to be one of the five youth ambassadors selected for 2016-17.
“We go to different places to different events, conferences and meetings and we advocate youth shooting sports. We go and talk to our big sponsors like Colt, Remington, Browning and Beretta,” Davis noted. “We get to talk to the owners and the president of their marketing side. We’re trying to teach people that guns aren’t terrible. As ambassadors we want to teach kids at a young age how to properly use firearms.”
Kelsey Poynor, @KPoynor_GRR