ODESSA, Fla. — There’s not much time to rest for Ashe County’s Noah Gouge. Between working a part time job, doing school work, playing for the Ashe County High School tennis team and following his true passion of trap shooting, it’s certainly a full schedule for the Lansing native.
Gouge recently returned from a trio of shooting events in Florida, getting off to a nice start in the 2016 season.
The reigning All-American shooter has already racked up 604 All-American points for this year, well ahead of last year’s pace.
During the Dixie Grand, held Jan. 18-24, Gouge won eight trophies overall with five first-place finishes and three runner-up finishes. He earned 218 All-American points while battling some tough weather conditions in Florida that rivaled a High Country winter with 35 mile-per-hour winds and 50 mile-per-hour wind gusts.
Next up, Noah headed back to Florida for the Southern Grand that took place March 7-13. Gouge entered 15 events with a total of 5,201 entries and came home with five wins and four runner-up finishes. The biggest win of the tournament was finished as the highest overall shooter in the junior class. He earned 305 All-American points for the week.
Most recently, Noah was competing in the Florida State Shoot on March 15-20. He had his first 100 straight target hits in doubles of the year and took home the junior championship in doubles and junior championship in handicap. Overall, he shot a 97.4-percent average in doubles during the week and held a 96.5-percent average over the previous two competitions. His success also pushed him back to the 27-yard line shooting, something he was able to reach in just a year of competitions.
Gouge had the opportunity to shoot lead-off on a team made up of four All-Americans, something he really enjoyed.
“The squad has good energy, we push each other in every event,” said Gouge. “It’s an honor to shoot with such a great squad and such great friends.”
Noah said some of his goals for the rest of this season include finishing as a first team All-American, winning championship rings at the Grand American coming up later in the season and hitting 100 straight in handicaps.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87