- Must be between the ages of 10 and 18
- Athletes are required to be certified through the NRA First Steps Rifle and Pistol Safety course
- Safety is primary concern when handling firearms
- Participate in team charity events
- Participate in fundraising events
- Grades and conduct at school must be kept satisfactory at all times
Practice time and location
- Wednesdays from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Denver Defense
Meet the coaches
Kevin Ezell – Head Coach
Retired from the US Army 10th Special Forces Group in 2004. During his 20 year Army career his assignments required him to be a subject matter expert in target interdiction and combat marksmanship. He trained under world champions Jerry Barnhart, Bill Rodgers and attended many of the military’s top marksmanship training courses. In 2006 he became an NRA certified pistol/rifle instructor and NC concealed carry instructor and has trained and certified more than 300 NC residents for their CCH permit. He became an NRA level 1 shotgun coach in 2014 and studied under Daniel Schindler in 2015 to become a Paragon Professional Associate of Shotgun Sports. The Ezell family joined Gaston Young Guns in 2014 and in 2016 he helped start the Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) for the Gaston Young Guns, where he serves as head coach.
Mark Lowe – Assistant Coach
Retired from US Navy reserves after 23 ½ years of combined active/reserve service, awarded US Navy Marksman medals in rifle and pistol, NRA certified instructor in Rifle and shotgun, NRA coach certified in shotgun. Active in the Boy Scouts of America, Merit badge councilor in rifle and shotgun.
Jim Lawrence – Assistant Coach
Retired in 2014 from Newell Rubbermaid as Director of Engineering after 35 years of service where he focused on Rubbermaid consumer product manufacturing locations in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. In his spare time, Jim enjoys hobbies such as flying, fishing, hunting, and shooting. He joined the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) in 1963 at the ripe old age of 14. Through that program, he received training in the use of long guns and handguns. At that time the U.S. Army administered the CMP and guns available through the CMP were the Springfield 30-06, M1 Carbine and the Colt 45 ACP. As Jim spent most of his summers in Port Clinton, Ohio, which is where Camp Perry is located, he was able to attend many of the National Matches. The range and instructors were available for assistance on marksmanship for both the long guns and handguns. The skills and values learned through this experience were applied throughout his career and life. Jim sees Gaston Young Guns providing young adults the same opportunity to learn and experience what he thinks is a solid foundation.
Phil Digh – Assistant Coach
Worked as Apprentist Machinest at J. J. DIGH Machine Company Inc., a family owned manufacturing plant in Dallas NC. For 17 years making replacement parts mainly for the textile industry. In September 1994, Phil and his younger brother Steve purchased Universal Machine Company Inc. He became an avid sportsman at an early age hunting, fishing, shooting, and enjoying nature. Phil served as Cub Master of Pack 28 at Antioch Lutheran Church in Dallas before moving up with his youngest son Michael and became an Assistant Scoutmaster for several years. He became an NRA Certified Instructor in the disciplines of shotgun and rifle in 2006 and later became a NRA Certified Pistol Instructor and Range Safety Officer (RSO), and in 2014 became NRA Certified Shotgun Coach Level l. Phil is also a Certified North Carolina Hunter Education Instructor, Life Time NRA Member and NRA Recruiter, and has served as the Piedmont Council Merit Badge Counselor for rifle and shotgun for several years. Phil started the group that is now called the Gaston Young Guns in late 2006 where he has served as Chairman for ten years. Phil is married to the love of his life Regina and they have three sons – Matthew, Steven and Michael. They have four grandchildren that they love dearly – Zane, Hanna, and Riland and Allyson – all future athletes of Gaston Young Guns!