Dismal Swamp Rangers Return to the Top!

by Mike Kendra on June 6, 2011

As I’ve mentioned, it was a competitive Nationals, but nothing can top the honor of winning the National Musket Team match, Class A-1. That honor was awarded to the Dismal Swamp Rangers with a time of 389.9!

I contacted Mike Davenport, the commander of the Dismal Swamp Rangers and gave him a series of questions about the Musket Match at the past National. Here are his responses:

Q: What was your team’s reaction to winning the National Musket Match?

Mike (DSR): I knew we were shooting well, and were close to the top during the match.  Several of our friends from surrounding teams came over to congratulate us after the last event.  We did not know for sure until I asked for a copy of the final posting.  The reaction varied from man to man.  4 of the team had never won a 1st place musket match before, they were the most jubilant.  I was just releaved that we had finally broken the dry spell.

The Winning Team and their trophies!

Q: Who are the members of the winning Musket Team?

  • Roger Buss (1st time)
  • Dennis Huer (1st time)
  • Eddie Ray Davenport, III (1st time)
  • Winston Parker (9 wins)
  • Bob Yates (9 wins)
  • Craig Faibion (7 wins)
  • Ritchie foster (1st time)
  • Mike Davenport (8 wins)

Q: What did your team do to prepare in the off-season for the 123rd National?

Mike (DSR): We hold team practices and we have a club range at a members house.  Most members shoot there during the winter to prepare for the matches.  We have a very active region (tidewater) with a home range Fort Mahone in Capron VA that we shoot at every other week starting in late February.  The competition on our region helps keep us on top of our game as it is intense and fierce at times,

Q: How many members of the team were also members of the 100th National Musket Team, the last time the DSR won a National Musket Match?

Mike (DSR): 4: Winston Parker, Bob Yates, Craig Fabion, and Mike Davenport

Q: How does this win compare to the 100th National Championship?

Mike (DSR): The 100 was special to me as I did so well both individual and team wise.  This win is just as important as it was my first as team commander. and every member of the team won a national medal (B team finished 3rd and C team was 2nd)

Q: In the five team events, was there any drama, or notable achievements by the team? In particular what was notable about the pigeon board and 100 yard tile events?

Mike (DSR): Drama…..

One member discovered on Sunday morning that every round he had was defective.  He rode a motorcycle up and the rounds had vibrated loose, so he had to borrow form each team member, shot on the a team and we still prevailed.  I got to the range and noticed I had left my bayonet so walk back to camp.

On the pigeon board I knew we had a good time as I only fired 6 rounds and the board was clear.

100 yard the fellow on the right side all hit on the first shot along with 2 from the left, that left 4 tiles 3 went on the next volley, leaving one, mine. Boy was I nervous on my 3rd shot when I finally broke that target.

On the “pot imposters” we had one pot that every team member fired at 2 times till one fellow (Winston) broke it with his 3 shot at it.  That almost sunk us.

Q: Did any of your teammates win medals at the 123rd National for any other individual or team matches?

Mike (DSR): We had several team members win individual medals, our A carbine team placed in the medals and our Henry team was 3rd over all only a couple of seconds out of first.  That was good.

Congratulations to all the Dismal Swamp Rangers! I hope you have just as much luck at future National Matches!

Make sure to check back on Thursday for a Skirmish Notes special presentation!

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