MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin head rifle coach Bob Beard has announced that Joe Martin and Brianna Sawyers have each signed National Letters of Intent to join the Skyhawk program in 2014-15.
A Emerado, ND native who currently attends Central High School, Martin currently shoots with a junior club in the Grand Forks, ND area and has experience as a competitor in the NRA Smallbore Championships at Camp Perry in Ohio. He won the North Dakota Junior Olympic championship and won the prone competition in the National Junior Olympics at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Sawyers joins the UT Martin rifle team out of Ozark, Mo., where she shoots for Ozark High School. That same program has produced former Skyhawk All-OVC shooter Kelsea Hunt as well as current UT Martin freshman shooter Logan Hunt. Sawyers has been a member of three JROTC national championship squads in the past three years.
“Joe and Brianna are both good students and valuable additions to our program,” Beard said. “We expect Joe to fill a gap we will have on our mixed team when all-conference member Jessica Cobb graduates this year. Brianna will give needed depth to the women’s team since both Jamie Arnett and Jordan Goodwin complete their eligibility this season. Signing these two fine athletes early takes a lot of pressure off Justin Grinolds (current assistant coach) and myself in our efforts to position the program for another top-20 finish next year.”
The UT Martin rifle program has finished in the top-20 nationally in 30 of the last 31 years. The Skyhawks open their 2014 spring season with its own UT Martin Invitational on Jan. 21-26.