Often regarded as the finest ambassador that American shooting sports has ever known, Tom Knapp thrilled crowds around the world with seemingly impossible feats with a shotgun. His combination of shooting skills and stage presence inspired an entire generation of new shooters. To honor his memory and continue his legacy of stewardship, Champion® Traps and Targets teamed with Federal Premium Ammunition® to create the 2014 Tom Knapp Memorial Scholarship.
For more than a decade, Knapp represented these brands around the world at live exhibitions, on television, and at countless consumer and trade shows. With the support of his wife, Colleen, Champion extended Knapp’s licensed products agreement to fund a scholarship to award $5,000 to one male and one female college-bound student.
The winners of the 2014 Tom Knapp Memorial Scholarship are Tyler Koenen of Alden, Minnesota, and Jenna Jahnke of Stillwater, Minnesota. The pair were presented their $5,000 awards at the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League Championship, an event that hosted more than 4,000 students June 6 to 10, 2014, in Alexandria, Minnesota.
Pictured from left to right: Ryan Bronson (Champion® Public Policy and Conservation Manager), Tyler Koenen, Colleen Knapp, Jason Nash (Federal Premium® Marketing Director) and Jenna Jahnke.
Koenen will apply his scholarship to an education in mechanical engineering at Iowa State University, while Jahnke will use her award at Minnesota’s Century College, where she will study accounting. The two scholarship winners were chosen from applicants within the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League.
“Tom Knapp was actually the person who inspired me to get into clay target shooting, so it was a great honor to be one of the recipients of this award,” Koenen said. “Thanks to everyone who made this scholarship possible.”
Jahnke learned about Knapp watching videos of his performances on YouTube. She plans to follow Knapp’s example of passing on the shooting heritage by staying involved with the Stillwater High School trapshooting program she helped launch.
“It’s pretty awesome. I like the routine of shooting and watching the targets break,” she said.
Considering the success of the scholarship, Colleen Knapp has generously agreed to extend the program into 2015 and beyond.
The Scholarship Program
Following Tom Knapp’s passing, the program was created to assist high school seniors who had actively participated in at least two seasons on a Minnesota State High School Clay Target League team and planned to continue their education in college or vocational school programs. Scholarships are offered each year for full-time study at an accredited institution of the student’s choice. This scholarship program was administered by Scholarship Management Services®, a division of Scholarship America®.
Learn more about Minnesota State High School Clay Target League.