The Rockland Elks Lodge #1008 held its local hoop shoot qualifier Dec. 9 at Oceanside East High School.

The event was for boys and girls ages 8-13 who live in Knox, Waldo and Lincoln counties. Participants were trying to take the first step on the journey to the Elks National Hoop Shoot April 18-21 in Springfield, Mass.

The Dec. 9 event drew 10 children, with the winners being Hope Butler, 11, Rockland Middle School; Hattie Watmough, 12, Warren Community School; Hunter Norton, 9, South School in Rockland; and Emmett Shell, 13, Mount View School in Thorndike.

The first step in the ascent to the national contest was hosted by the Rockland Elks. Each contestant shot 25 free throws and the contestants in three age divisions with the highest total scores advanced to the district competition on Sunday, Jan. 13 in Wells.

The boys and girls who advanced were awarded colorful basketballs with the Elks logo inscribed with: “Shooting for a Drug Free America.”

The Elks National Drug Awareness Program is credited with being the largest volunteer drug awareness program in the United States.

Courier Publications sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at