Youth Shooting Teams from 9 States Win Trap Medals
National Shooting Sports Foundation
SPARTA, IL - Like a prelude to Olympic shooting events, more than 1,600 young shotgunners competed this week for medals and national honors at the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) Trap National Championships.
In the end, nine states boasted teams on the medals stand.
Competition was held in five divisions Aug. 4-5 at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, Ill.
Medals by State
Tennessee - 4 medals: 1 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze
Pennsylvania - 3 medals: 1 gold, 2 bronze
Arkansas - 2 medals: 1 gold, 1 silver
Alabama - 1 medal: silver
Missouri - 1 medal: gold
Nebraska - 1 medal: silver
Nevada - 1 medal: gold
Ohio - 1 medal: silver
Utah - 1 medal: bronze
SCTP skeet and sporting clays national championships were held prior to the trap event. For results, visit www.nssf.org/sctp.
SCTP is managed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) in partnership with USA Shooting and other governing bodies for shooting sports. Across more than 40 states in 2008, 9,135 youths competed and 1,562 adults volunteered as coaches and directors—both new records for the program.
"The anticipation and excitement of the Olympics and two SCTP alumni competing in Beijing appeared to drive interest in our program this year. And the quality of shooting—not to mention the quality of character—among the young people at this event leaves little doubt that we'll see more Olympians coming out of SCTP in the future," said Steve Sanetti, NSSF president.
Tennessee earned more medals than any other state and claimed the national champion team in the Varsity Division. The Night Hawks missed only 13 out of 1,000 targets. Team members include Ryan Parks of Bulls Gap, Tyler Lucas of Seymour, Jordan Crawford of Seymour, Matthew Smith of Morristown and Allen Parker of Tazewell.
Coach Rocky Parks of Morristown, Tenn., described his team: "The best group I ever coached. They deserve it, they tried and finally they've got it. It's theirs. Yesterday these guys shot a 497 out of 500 which is a new record for this event."
Pennsylvania took three total medals and including the new Junior Varsity Division national champion team, the White Flyer Claybusters. Team members Colby Case of Youngsville, Bradley Church of Russell, Taylor Hansen of Pittsfield, Colton Black of Sugar Grove and Robert Grant of Russell together shot a 981.
"It's hard to put words to this. We worked hard, the kids are great and work well as a team. We've had a lot of fun doing this, a lot of support from the locals back home. It's phenomenal," said coach Carl Black of Warren Co., Pa.
Arkansas won two medals overall. Its Harrisburg Hornet Shooting Team posted a score of 970 to win the Intermediate Advanced Division title. Team members include Jordan Harper of Harrisburg, Corey Shannon of Harrisburg, Haden Zirbel of Weiner, Bret Long of Harrisburg and Garrett Grubbs of Weiner.
Zirbel had a perfect score with 200 straight targets.
"Their focus (was the difference). They were focused, they had a goal set," said coach Pat Turnage, Harrisburg, Ark. "We came here last year and finished in 11th place and they had to come back and win it. They worked real hard, I am real proud of them. A great attitude and a willingness to work and some natural talent and they really turned it on this week."
Missouri is home to the new national champion team in the Intermediate Entry Division. The Gateway Claybusters posted a score of 937. Team members include Trey Barklage of O'Fallon, Derek Grote of Wright City, Kurt Grote of Wright City, Trent Barklage of O'Fallon and Zachary Schmitz of O'Fallon.
Their coach, John Stokes of St. Peters, Mo., said, "They were determined to win. The boys just started shooting this y ear and won a state championship already. We knew they were good shooters but they've just gotten better and better because they are determined to win."
Nevada claimed the Rookie Division winner. The Silver State Claybreakers, including Riley Clark of Las Vegas, Cody Newberry of Las Vegas, Jacob Freudenthal of Las Vegas, Steven Carter of Las Vegas, and Zachary Daly of Las Vegas, broke 873 out of 1,000 targets to earn the title.
"All in all, we only missed about five targets each, and these are 10- and 11-year-old kids. They shot an 873 at this big event and that's pretty good," said coach Kenny Clark of Las Vegas.
SCTP was launched by NSSF in 2000 to offer students in grades 12 and under an opportunity to compete as a team in trap, skeet, sporting clays and the international versions of trap and skeet. Program partners include the national governing bodies for each shotgun discipline: Amateur Trapshooting Association, National Skeet Shooting Association, National Sporting Clays Association and USA Shooting. The ultimate goal is instilling in young participants a commitment to safe firearm handling, teamwork and leadership.
Many SCTP shooters go on to compete at the collegiate level. Olympians are more rare, but former SCTP stars Corey Cogdell and Vincent Hancock will represent the U.S. in Beijing in women's trap and men's skeet, respectively.
For more information, visit www.nssf.org/sctp.
Varsity Division (grades 9-12)
1. Tennessee - Night Hawks, 987 out of 1,000 targets, shootoff (Ryan Parks of Bulls Gap, Tyler Lucas of Seymour, Jordan Crawford of Seymour, Matthew Smith of Morristown, Allen Parker of Tazewell).
2. Alabama - Waterfall Valley Claybusters Varsity, 987 (Jacob Gist of Russellville, Kollin Hester of Tuscumbia, Trevor Mitchell of Russellville, Alex Pounders of Russellville, Blake Reed of Spruce Pine).
3. Utah - GSTC Clay Dusters, 985 (Craig Stitt of Eden, Colton Anderson of Brigham City, Jackson Tuckett of West Point, Nolan Stokes of Roy, Coltin Dickamore of Brigham City).
Junior Varsity Division (grades 9-12)
1. Pennsylvania - White Flyer Claybusters, 981 out of 1,000 targets (Colby Case of Youngsville, Bradley Church of Russell, Taylor Hansen of Pittsfield, Colton Black of Sugar Grove, Robert Grant of Russell).
2. Nebraska - Beatrice Trap Team, 977 (Jordan Bender of Holmesville, Keith Hartley of Beatrice, Cole Bures of Odell, Jason Pike of Beatrice, Sheena Mahloch of Plymouth).
3. Pennsylvania - Greater Pittsburgh Claybusters 2, 967 (Charles King III of Prosperity, Kevin Higgins of Venetia, Stephen Todak of McClellandtown, Stephen Mizla of Pittsburgh, Philip Benvenuto of Jefferson Hills).
Intermediate Advanced Division (grades 6-8)
1. Arkansas - Harrisburg Hornet Shooting Team, 970 out of 1,000 targets (Jordan Harper of Harrisburg, Corey Shannon of Harrisburg, Haden Zirbel of Weiner, Bret Long of Harrisburg, Garrett Grubbs of Weiner).
2. Tennessee - Jefferson Co. 4-H Patriot, 963 (Hunter Rich of Dandridge, Terrence Bailiff of New Market, Michael Hammer of Dandridge, Tyler Martin of New Market, Alex Swanger of Dandridge).
3. Tennessee - Henderson Co. Clay 4-H Trap, 960 (Dalton Anglin of Scotts Hill, Spencer Seaton of Lexington, Justin Rogers of Scotts Hill, Dylan Rainey of Decaturville, Cody McCormic of Parsons).
Intermediate Entry Division (grades 6-8)
1. Missouri - Gateway Claybusters, 937 out of 1,000 targets (Trey Barklage of O'Fallon, Derek Grote of Wright City, Kurt Grote of Wright City, Trent Barklage of O'Fallon, Zachary Schmitz of O'Fallon).
2. Arkansas - Rivers Trap Club, 923 (Alex Lewis of Pocahontas, Derek Brown of Pocahontas, Zac Nead of Pocahontas, William Hulen of Pocahontas, Will Lewis of Pocahontas).
3. Pennsylvania - Evans City Fab Five, 914 (Damien St. George of Industry, Chad Miller of Evans City, Danielle Green of Evans City, Eric Peffer of Evans City, Travis Walsh of Mars).
Rookie Division (grades 5 and under)
1. Nevada - Silver State Claybreakers, 873 out of 1,000 targets (Riley Clark of Las Vegas, Cody Newberry of Las Vegas, Jacob Freudenthal of Las Vegas, Steven Carter of Las Vegas, Zachary Daly of Las Vegas).
2. Ohio - Sportsman's Club Clay Crushers, 868 (Aaron Walter of Bloomville, Alex Scheiber of Attica, Austin Wurm of Bloomville, Scott Heydinger of Tiro, Levi Abbott of Nevada).
3. Tennessee - Hoodlum Alley Claybusters Rookies, 840 (Chase Smith of Shelbyville, James Haithcote of Unionville, James Anthony of Shelbyville, Matthew Townes of Shelbyville, Tristan Rogers of Shelbyville).