Scholarship recipients named at final O2 Shootout

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William Carpenter, Wilson Davis, Hunter Chase Martin and Avery Strickland have been named the 2018 recipients of the Olson Osborn (O2) Scholarship.

The $2,500 scholarship is awarded to students who have shown an interest in shooting sports and was established to recognize and honor Will Olson and Camdon Osborn who lost their lives during a motor vehicle accident in October 2015. Olson and Osborn shared a love of sports, especially hunting sports. Both boys would have graduated this year from Batesville High School. Funds for the O2 Scholarship have been raised over the last three years through a yearly trap shooting tournament.

Other scholarship requirements are to be a 2018 graduate from a high school in Independence, White, Jackson, Cleburne, Lawrence, Izard, Sharp, Stone or Fulton counties; a 2.75 grade point average; letters of recommendation demonstrating a level of interest and character; and a completed application. The scholarship must be used for secondary education degree or certification at an accredited college or trade school.

Carpenter, who will graduate from Cedar Ridge High School, plans to attend Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and major in mechanical engineering. He said the O2 scholarship will allow him to reduce his college debt because he will not have to take out as many loans. While in school, he hopes to be able to intern locally and hopes to live in the community where he grew up when he graduates from college.

In his letter of recommendation Lt. A. Edwards said: “He (Will) is very loyal and respectful and is a reliable young man. He is an avid shooter and enjoys the sport. Will also loves to duck hunt and deer hunt. He is also a member of the Bass Fishing Team at Cedar Ridge. Will is always asking me, when will we be meeting and looking for ways to fit trap practice and events in around his work schedule and busy home life.”

Davis, who will graduate from Batesville High School, grew up hunting in Stuttgart, also known as the duck capital of the world.

“When I moved to Batesville in 2012,” Davis said, “I began shooting trap and it just came naturally; I was good at it.” After his experience following the motor vehicle accident that claimed the lives of his friends and riding in a helicopter similar to Angel 1 on the anniversary of the accident, Davis decided he wanted to fly professionally. As one of four children, he said this scholarship will help him pay for college and reach his career endeavors. He is looking at flight schools in Arkansas and Tulsa.

In his letter of application, Dave King said: “Wil has been a big inspiration, not only to his classmates, but to me personally. He has always been a very positive young man and has taken that positive attitude as a driving force in his life. I have witnessed in many ways, how his positive attitude and ability to overcome obstacles has influenced others – both students and adults”

Martin who will graduate from Bald Knob High School has been named the Champion of Champions for two straight years in the Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program. He plans to attend ASU-Beebe where he hopes to be part of the recently added trap shooting team. After completing his associate’s degree, he plans to transfer to Harding University and continue his studies in pre-med and hopes to continue his education in Dallas at a chiropractic school.

“If I am fortunate enough to receive this very generous scholarship, the money will be used for the costs that go along with the next step in my education, including tuition, fees, and books.” He continued by saying the work ethic he has demonstrated in maintaining a 4.0 GPA while participating in trap shooting and other athletics will carry him forward as he continues his education.

In a recommendation letter from Jerry Hill, manager of the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation Shooting Sports Complex, Hill said: “To get straight to the point, he (Chase) is, without a doubt one of the most talented young shooters that I’ve had the pleasure of watching and working with. Having watched and coached many shooting sports athletes, Chase is on the path to bigger and better things in the trap shooting world. His character and outstanding ability to break targets will not only bring more championships but will bring great accomplishments in the game of life.”

Similar thoughts were expressed by Herman Kyle, director/coach of the Bald Knob Bulldogs Trap Shooting Team.

“He (Chase) is truly a talented and amazing competitor and is a valuable mentor and role model to other shooters in our program,” Kyle said. “He is self-motivated, focused and comes to each practice and tournament well prepared and ready for the challenge ahead.”

scholarship recipientsWilson Davis from Batesville High School (from left), Hunter Chase Martin and Avery Strickland, both from Bald Knob High School, and William Carpenter from Cedar Ridge High School, were been named the 2018 recipients of the Olson Osborn (O2) Scholarship. The announcement was made Saturday at the third and final O2 Shootout. The O2 Shootout began in 2016 in memory of Will Olson and Camdon Osborn who lost their lives in a motor vehicle accident in October 2015. Both boys would have graduated from Batesville High School this year. / Image submitted

Strickland will also graduate from Bald Knob High School. He will graduate with honors, a goal he says he has worked toward his whole life.

“I owe a great deal of gratitude to each person who has believed in me,” he said. “My journey has been one where I have been dedicated to academics, developed a favorable work ethic and established future goals.”

After graduation, he plans to enroll at the University of Arkansas at Monticello where he will attend the School of Forestry and Natural Resources. He said to help offset his college expenses he will work while attending college something he has done since he was 15-years-old, having worked on a farm and in fast food and retail. His love of forestry can be traced to the family business; his grandfather currently operates the sawmill his great-grandfather started in 1947.

“By obtaining a forestry degree, I think I will have the best of both worlds,” he said. “I will be able to continue the family legacy while having a college degree. One day, I want to be the one helping high school seniors take the big step of going to college.”

David Freppon who wrote a letter of recommendation said: “I have had the pleasure of knowing Avery for several years. He has grown into a young man who is committed to academics and motivated to succeed. Avery is able to balance his academics with work and social life. He certainly has the ability and drive to succeed in college. I look forward to seeing him develop as a professional.”

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