Rob Potter | Democrat
ROB KAUTZ, CENTER, holds the two national marksmanship awards he received on Monday night at Lander’s River Cafe in Callicoon. Pictured with him, from left to right, are Delaware Valley Junior Rifle Club Coaches Al Steppich, Bill Schultz, Paul Brustman, Allan Milk Memorial VFW Post 7276 Senior Vice Commander and New York VFW District 2 Commander Verl Ringgenberg and Post 7276 Commander Bruce Pecsi. Missing from photo are award winners Isaac Brenner and Peter Smith, Delaware Valley Junior Rifle Club Coach Earl Kinney and Club Secretary Jean Smith.
Kautz Makes His Mark Nationally
By Rob Potter
CALLICOON November 30, 2007 For the second consecutive year, Rob Kautz has earned first-place national marksmanship awards.
The 23-year-old Jeffersonville resident and member of the Delaware Valley Junior Rifle Club was honored during a brief ceremony on Monday evening at Lander’s River Cafe in Callicoon.
Kautz received the First Place Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) National Award for Adult Smallbore Postal Match for 2006-2007 and the 2007 National Rifle Association (NRA)-VFW National Adult 3-Position Smallbore Rifle Postal Match First Place Individual award.
The Delaware Valley Junior Rifle Club is sponsored by the Allan Milk Memorial VFW Post 7276 of Long Eddy. Post 7276 Senior Vice Commander Verl Ringgenberg, who is also the New York VFW District 2 Commander, presented the two prestigious awards to Kautz.
Two other rifle club members Isaac Brenner and Peter Smith also received national awards.
Smith, a 21-year-old resident of East Ridge, earned the Second Place VFW National Award for Adult Smallbore Postal Match for 2006-2007 and the 2007 NRA-VFW National Adult 3-Position Smallbore Rifle Postal Match Second Place Individual award.
Brenner, a 22-year-old resident of East Ridge, earned the Fourth Place VFW National Award for Adult Smallbore Postal Match for 2006-2007.
Unfortunately, neither Smith nor Brenner was able to attend Monday night’s ceremony.
Among those on hand to congratulate Kautz were Post 7276 Commander Bruce Pecsi; Delaware Valley Junior Rifle Club coaches/spotters Paul Brustman, Earl Kinney, Bill Schultz and Al Steppich; and Delaware Valley Junior Rifle Club Secretary Jean Smith who is also Kautz’s mother.
“We are very proud to have the VFW sponsor our club,” Schultz said. “It makes us feel good to have club members win these awards. They have worked very hard to be able to shoot a rifle that well.”
“Rob winning these awards again is just amazing,” Ringgenberg commented. “It certainly makes the old hometown proud.”
Ringgenberg said that when he found out at the recent state VFW convention that the local rifle club members had won the national awards, several VFW members from around New York came up to him and asked how such a successful club began.
He also discovered something interesting at the convention.
“This is the only rifle club sponsored by a VFW Post in all of New York State,” Ringgenberg said.
Kautz said he was very excited to win the national marksmanship awards in consecutive years.
“There was only one point difference between my score this year and last year,” he said.
“I hope we get a team together,” Kautz added.
Because the Delaware Valley Junior Rifle Club only has three adult shooters, it cannot enter the VFW and NRA-VFW national team competitions. Both of those competitions require a team to have five shooters.
Kautz is also hoping to improve his individual scores for the 2007-2008 season.
Last year, he was only able to shoot for a month while home on winter break from the Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Fla.
But Kautz is taking a break from his studies at Ringling College until September 2008.
“This year, I will be here the whole season and I want to shoot even better,” he said.