Hall of Fame Inductee - Will Duryea
In a sport that requires precision, concentration and a steady hand, Will Duryea is one of the steadiest QHS has ever had. A standout with the rifle team during a four-year varsity career, Duryea was at his best as a senior.
He finished first individually and led the Blue Devils to a second-place finish in the Illinois High School Rifle League's Smallbore State Championship. QHS shot 2057 out of 2400, while Duryea finished with a 539 out of 600 to earn all-state honors.
At the Illinois air rifle state championships that year, the Blue Devils finished second with a 1,100 out of a possible 1,200.
That year, Duryea took part in the USA Shooting national championships in Atlanta. He finished 55th overall in the junior air rifle (1,090), 3 1st in the junior three-position competition and 28th in the junior prone competition.
As a junior, Duryea earned all-state honors as he finished fourth at the Illinois High School Rifle League's smallbore state championships.
Duryea also finished second at the state air rifle championships with a 567 total.
Duryea's Acceptance Speech ...
I graciously accept my nomination into the Hall of Fame.
To be accepted into the Hall of Fame is a humbling experience, especially when all I did was have fun. I can say it took nothing more than getting involved and falling in love. As luck would have it, I continued to accurately hit targets. As a freshman, I heard an announcement for the rifle team. I attended the meeting where I first met Coach Distlehorst, and shortly thereafter grabbed my first target rifle.
Throughout my four years of competition I was exposed to many great things. Successes and failures, traveling to competitions, meeting new people and developing a skill were all memorable moments. The greatest impact came from other members of the shooting community, teammates, friends, and family members who were all supportive and excited to see a sport not often televised. With this support I continued to improve and made it to a national competition where I met Olympians. Having these experiences has truly shaped who I am and I extend my deepest thanks to all of those who supported me throughout the years.
Since graduating high school I stepped away from competitive shooting. I attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign earning a degree in agribusiness farm and financial management, ultimately becoming a Certified Public Accountant. I've been able to parlay the skills learned in shooting to my professional career. The same mentality that helped me earn medals was applied easily to my studies and career. Shooting requires hours of concentration, patience, muscle control, and vision; the same can be said about my studies and accounting. I consider the shooting program at QHS quite the gift as it allowed me to hone those skills prior to stepping into the "real world': I will be forever impacted by my friends, teammates, Coach Distlehorst and Coach Holtman. Without their leadership and the team I could not have achieved success.
I encourage everyone to try the shooting sports; it's extremely rewarding and seriously fun.
Return to the Hall of Fame Inductee Page.