BLAIRSVILLE - Blairsville Elementary School students gave Jerrik Rydbom a rousing sendoff Wednesday before he heads to Springfield, MA to compete for the National Title in the Elks Hoop Shoot competition.
Rydbom will compete against the best 8 & 9 year old hoops shooters in the nation. At the end of March 2009, Rybom became the Region 5 Champion when he placed first at Wilkes Barre, Pa. and earned his berth in the National Finals to be held on April 25 in Springfield.
The entired BES student body cheered on Rydbom as he put on a shooting demonstration. The varsity, junior varsity and mini cheerleaders came up in turn to do personalized cheers for the fellow student.
At the Region 5 competition, Rydbom competed against the New York and New Jersey state champions and was able to advance by making 22 of 25 free throws. Rydbom found himself in last place at this competiton needing to make 14 out of his last 15 for a National Title opportunity against 11 other shooters from across the United States.
Rydbom won the Blairsville Elementry competition in Nov. 2008, followed by another local victory against shooters from United, Saltsburg and Laurel Valley in Jan. In Feb., Rydbom took first place at the District Hoop Shoot in Homer City, then captured the state championship in State College in March.
In each competition, Rydbom made at least 22 of 25 shots.
Good luck at nationals, Jerrik, from Renda Broadcasting!