WEST JEFFERSON — One of the top sport shooting collegiate programs in the nation got one of the top junior class shooters in the country when Lansing native Noah Gouge made it official on Thursday afternoon.
Gouge, a senior at Ashe County High School, signed with Lindenwood University, located in Missouri.
“They’re the top shooting school in the nation, I think they’ve won the last 13 national titles, and they offered me a shooting scholarship. It was a great fit,” said Gouge.
Gouge said the shooting scholarship and his academic achievements will make it a lot easier on his family to pay for his college education.
Gouge was a junior All-American last year, finishing in third place overall in the ATA (Amateur Trapshooting Association) All-American standings with 2,095 points.
Overall, Noah won a total of 86 trophies in 2016 and has started off the 2017 year already with 16 championship trophies from the Dixie Grand American in Florida.
Academically, Gouge said he plans on majoring in education and Lindenwood had a strong program for that.
“I want to go into primary education and teach little kids,” Gouge added.
It was a long journey for Noah to get to this point with a lot of long hours of practice and long hours of travel to compete in numerous competitions across the country. All of that work paid off when Lindenwood head coach Shawn Dulohery saw Gouge shoot.
“Shawn had heard about me and did some research on me. Then he actually came down from the college all the way to the Grand American to find me and interview me to see if I would be interested to come shoot on the team,” Gouge said.
Gouge said he doesn’t expect to have many issues adjusting to life in the Midwest. He said the campus and the area around it is a lot like Boone and Appalachian State, and that he will know several people on the team from shooting with them in past events.
Noah chose Lindenwood over Bethel University, Doane University and George Mason University.
“I’d like to thank Trey Wilburn and Morgan Shaw, they have helped me progress along as a shooter. Clay Floyd has helped me a lot also, and I’d like to thank my parents for supporting me through this whole thing,” Gouge said.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062.