The 8th Virginia Comes From Behind, Wins by 0.8 Seconds!

by Mike Kendra on October 17, 2011

On October 9th, 2011, the 8th Regiment Virginia Volunteers won the A-1 Musket Team Match at the 124th National Skirmish, beating a very competitive 111th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and the defending champions from the Spring Nationals, the Dismal Swamp Rangers.

As you can see from the final statistics, it was a very close race:

# Team 50 Yds
32 Clay Board
50 Yds
16 4″ Tiles
50 Yds
16 Clays
50 Yds
16 3″ Pots
100 Yds
10 6″ Tiles
Total
Seconds
1 8TH REGT VA VOL. INF
133.3 61.6 50.8 124.7 53.0 423.4
2 111TH OH VOL. INF
147.7 65.5 65.9 77.6 67.5 424.2
3 DISMAL SWAMP RANGERS
162.8 69.2 78.4 84.4 47.8 442.6

I emailed Garth Miller, the Adjutant of the 8th shortly after the match, and here is my interview with him:

SN: Hi Garth, and congratulations to you and your team, and thanks for answering my questions. Please tell us how your team got started.

8th VA: The Eighth was formed in October 9, 1995 with the nucleus coming from another N-SSA Team. Over the years we have had several members join from other teams, bringing with them experience, competitiveness and mature attitudes.

SN: Who were the 8 members of the Winning 8th Virginia Musket Team?

8th VA:  Eddie Schneeman (Independent Contractor), Doug Nicodemus (Employed by the DEA), Matt Bennett (Fairfax County Deputy Sheriff and WV Air National Guard, 167th Airlift Wing), Chris Bennett (College student at JMU and son of Matt), David Jones (Retired USCG Chief Warrant Officer and Government Contractor), Bill Hyndshaw (Facilities Manager for an East coast Candy Company), Steve Buchanan (Commander of the Eighth and Marketing Director for a Northern Virginia Electrical Company) and Garth Miller (Retired Naval Officer).

SN: Is this the first time your team has won a National A-1 Musket Team match?

8th VA: Yes.

SN: Last May your team finished in 3rd Place at the National, and before that you had a bunch of finishes between 5th and 10th, what did your team do to improve in the last year?

8th VA: The Eighth attends every skirmish held at Fort Shenandoah plus some of our members travel to other regions for competition. This year we did not have a team practice due to time constraints, however some members practiced on their own. Overall as a team, we simply kept the “faith” and believed in ourselves. Due to our experience level, a member is not at a loss to receive recommendations and advice on how to deal with a problem.

SN: The team set the best Clay Board time of the day, just over 133 seconds, about 3 seconds faster than the next closest team, the 17th Virginia. Is this the teams best event?

8th VA: No, actually, when we hold a team practice, we normally use the pigeon board and 100 yard 6” tiles as this is where most teams struggle during a match.

SN: It looks like the team had some trouble with the Pot Tile event, what made this event so problematic?

8th VA: Mind over matter. It is not a usual event during every skirmish and because of this we have grown to think of it as a National “target” and one that we should be “concerned” with. It is a mindset that we need to deal with. In other matches using this target, it is not unusual for one person to hit 4 or 5.

SN: Did the team realize that they were behind the 111th Ohio by about 14 seconds going into the last event, the 10 Tiles at 100 yards? Did the team have any special game plan to make up the deficit?

8th VA: We encourage the team not to think of other teams and their hit times. Majority of the team did not care who was in front and were concentrating on their own ability and remaining events. You have to “keep your eye on the ball”.

SN: What other medals did your team win at this National Skirmish?

8th VA: …For the 124th Nationals:

Individual medals:

Eddie: 2nd 50Y Car, 1st 100Y Car, 1st Car Agg Expert Class earning 10 DSCA points , 7th 50Y Henry Expert Class;

Bill: 1st 50Y M Expert Class; Steve: 4th 50Y M, 10th 100Y M, 2nd Mus Agg Expert Class earning 9 DSCA points;

Chris 3rd 50Y C, 7th Car Agg Striker Class.

Team Medals:

1st A Musket, 2nd B Musket, 1st C Musket; 2nd A Carbine, 1st B Carbine, 1st C Carbine; 2nd A Henry, 4th B Henry, 1st C Henry; 1st A Smoothbore, 3rd B Smoothbore, 1st C Smoothbore; 4th A Single Shot; and 2nd Musket-Carbine Aggregate.

The Eighth also had Bill and Garth shoot on the All Star Special Event Match on Friday in which the Potomac Region won. I cannot remember other teams winning this many team matches at a National.

SN: Were there any events leading up to winning the musket match which are memorable or noteworthy?

8th VA: We did lose a member in June who was close to us. As we walked to the line Sunday morning, the consensus was that “this was for Dominick”. Also you might want to check out our Military Veteran page on our web site. We are also strongly supported by our ladies who normally dress in Red Capes and Red Hats at team matches. We hold four Team Dinners each year with a top of the line menu and issue team recognition medals for most improved shooters and personnel who have contributed significantly to the team.

SN: After the match, how did you celebrate?

8th VA: With the exception of one member who returned home, the remainder of the team stayed in camp awaiting results of the 2nd phase, winterized their campers and eventually met at a local restaurant for dinner.

Thanks so much to the members of the 8th Virginia, we hope to see them at or near the top of the results at the next National Skirmish, and for years to come!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

k.w. Hodges October 17, 2011 at 9:50 pm

garth congrats from the 17th well shot.

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