Community roots for Zavalla's Ellermann in Top Shot finale

Photo courtesy of Dustin Ellermann.
Photo courtesy of Dustin Ellermann.
Dustin Ellermann talks to students at St. Cyprians Episcopal School in Lufkin.
Dustin Ellermann talks to students at St. Cyprians Episcopal School in Lufkin.

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Dustin Ellermann has aced shooting competitions, landing him in the "Top Shot" finale and giving him the chance to win $100,000.

However, Monday morning, Ellermann was concerned about encouraging his young fans to make good choices.

"I'd like the kids to just realize that anything is possible and God's got a big plan for their lives and they just have to listen to him and follow His plan and it's going to be the best thing out there," Ellermann said. "I'm just a little guy from Zavalla that likes to shoot guns and now I'm on a national level."

He's one of four left on the History Channel's reality competition series. From rocks to firearms, the show is designed to test contestant's skills as marksmen.

"Me and my mom, we always just watch it," St. Cyprians Episcopal School Student Jalen Nerren said. "We're always like is he going to win, is he going to win. He got this far, and self-taught too, so you got to believe that he could possibly win."

The East Texas community has rallied around the self-taught Ellermann.

"It's been very interesting being a local celebrity, I suppose," Ellermann said. "I didn't expect this at all. I was just going to shoot guns and have fun."

Ellermann's church is supporting him too, hosting the finale watch party.

"Dustin is an incredible example of someone who stands up for what is right and in his moment of 15 minutes of fame, he's able to leverage that towards something positive to reach kids to make an example to hunters and shooters," Executive Pastor of Lufkin First Assembly Jeremy Yancey said.

"I think he's at least going to get in the top two, at least," Nerren said.

Only Ellermann knows if he's won $100,000 and the title of "Top Shot."

Yancey said win or lose Ellermann's faith has given him the chance to be an example to others long after the show is over.

"It's real encouraging to be supported this much," Ellermann said. "I didn't know how things would turn out. I was a little worried that maybe I would be cast bad or things might not go as they really did, but "Top Shot" has really been true to the characters that were on it and it's kind of amazing though, I did not expect any attention."

The "Top Shot" finale watch party with Ellermann is free and open to the public.

It will be at Lufkin First Assembly off Loop 287 in Lufkin starting at 7:30 Tuesday night.

The finale starts at 9 p.m.

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