By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
Brad Schoenemann of Lodi, WI, has left many footprints on the stage of Camp Perry’s Hough Theater, constantly delivering stunning performances. But the shows he puts on start before he even steps into the building.
During the 2019 National Matches, the 19-year-old found himself on the historic stage at the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) National Trophy Rifle Awards Ceremony several times to accept the honors he had earned on the firing line. The stage is a highly respected landmark in the marksmanship world, serving as the venue of some of the world’s best champions and treasured talents for over 100 years.
This year’s achievements began for Schoenemann when he finished as the High Junior of the President’s Rifle Match and the 15th overall competitor. The President’s Rifle event attracts many esteemed athletes in the country as one of the most prestigious events of the Matches.
Top military and civilian marksmen gather together on the range, ending with a shoulder-to-shoulder 10-shot shoot off. To reach that honor is a life-long objective for some competitors, and Schoenemann has already captured the feat.
“It is absolutely unreal to compete on the line with some of the best shooters in the world,” he said. “And the pressure to perform, especially in the shoot off was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Schoenemann went on to join his Wisconsin Cheddar teammate, Thomas McGowan, to overtake the National Trophy Junior Team Match with a score of 978-28x – only one point away from the National Record score.
Reaching the High Individual competitor title during the match, Schoenemann received the Col. Bill Deneke Trophy as the leading junior competitor in the President’s, National Trophy Individual and National Trophy Team events as well as a spot on the honorary National Junior Team.
He also took his abilities indoors by firing in the AiR-15 Challenge, a 40-shot re-entry match held within the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center air gun range. He reached a top score of 396-8x and held the lead until SFC Brandon Green of the Army Marksmanship Unit ultimately outshot him by two points to earn the win. Schoenemann had earned second in the event in 2017 and finished in the Top 10 in 2018, making it known that he is as powerful of a force with a simulated AR-15 as he is with the real thing.
Currently a sophomore at University of Wisconsin-Platteville, studying business, Brad has always shot growing up, starting in his backyard. He didn’t become fully interested in marksmanship until he was 11 years old, after taking a hunter safety course at his local gun club. There, he was introduced to a smallbore program, which eventually guided him into the highpower world.
“And I’ve been enjoying it ever since,” he said. “My favorite part about marksmanship is that every shot counts, and it is almost a big mental game, as far as staying focused.”
After seeing the Wisconsin team at the same matches he was attending, Brad noticed the excellent and fun program the members had cultivated and decided to join them.
“The whole experience with the team is just a blast, whether it’s on or off the range,” he said.
Since joining, Schoenemann has been a major contributor to the team by helping its members excel to multiple National Match titles. He’s enjoyed his experiences at Camp Perry for the past few years and hopes to continue the tradition with the friends he's made and those he has yet to meet.
“I had always wanted to go to the National Matches ever since I started shooting, and it had always been one of those things that I would maybe someday like to do,” Schoenemann explained. “My favorite part about the National Matches is just the comradery of all the different people from all over the United States.”
“It’s just an incredible experience.”
With all of his success, Schoenemann capped off his 2019 National Matches by walking the theater floor, reaching the stairs and taking the final climb to his new Distinguished Rifleman Badge – marking his legacy on the awards stage and on the grandest stage that is Camp Perry. the grandest stage that is Camp Perry.
Interested in getting involved in Marksmanship? Visit our website to find a CMP Affiliated Club near you at https://ct.thecmp.org/app/v1/index.php?do=clubSearch.
CMP State Director’s are also available to assist you. Find your CMP State Director at http://thecmp.org/training-tech/state-director/.
Make plans to join us in 2020 at Camp Perry. Visit our website for more information at http://thecmp.org/competitions/cmp-national-matches/.