The last two years Sterling High School has embraced the second amendment and started a trap shooting team.
While it may sound like fun and games, there is plenty to worry about such as ammo, supplies, and gun laws, but that hasn’t stopped the process.
“It has taken a lot of volunteer work to make this thing work,” Adviser Dennis Vincent said.
Each student has joined the shooting team for different reasons, all of which seem to be good.
“I joined because it gave me a lot of confidence since I feel like I am good at it,” senior Elise Kelley said. “It has kept me from reverting back to my old shy ways during sports.”
Trapshooting can get overlooked as it isn’t considered one of the normal core sports.
“I think it is just as much of a sport as football or basketball,” junior Logan Gillespie said. “It takes just as much time and hard work.”
Sophomore Conan Ball, who went to state in trapshooting last season, agreed.
“I put a lot of time into it, and enjoy it just as much as I do my other sports, so I don’t view it as anything less,” he said.
It has seemed like a goal to those who participate to make sure others respect trapshooting as a sport and don’t see it as an effortless elective.
“I prepare for it just like I do any other sport minus conditioning obviously,” junior Trent Jones said. “People sometimes view it as a hobby but its a sport. It is the only sport there has never been an accident in and it is surprisingly much safer than any other sport.”
In all sports, competition ensues within the team.
“I like being able to do an activity I actually like to do through the school,” Gillespie said. “I am pushing to be the best, and my teammates are too, so it makes good competition and allows us to put some really nice scores on the board when we compete.”
With practice being held every Monday night, the shooters are bound to spend a decent amount of time together.
“Being out there with the people who are considered ‘red necks’ is a lot of fun,” Jones said. “We all go out there and just have a blast. Every Monday everyone is ready to shoot and just have a good time trying to get better.”
The few girls on the team agree and are grateful for the experience.
“It is a great atmosphere,” Kelley said. “From the adults helping us to the people we have on the team, we all have a great time and it is hard not to come back the next week after having so much fun after we’ve improved so much the week before.”
In the two years it has been established the team has grown and has sparked interested those coming into high school, as was the case with freshman Cade Wilkey.
“Coming into high school I knew I wanted to be a part of the team since I have been shooting my whole life, and it gives me another thing I can do that allows me to spend time with my friends and go out and compete,” he said. “My brother Cole talked to me about it coming into school and I knew that it would be a good thing for me to be a part of. Talking to Cole really made me want to do it.”
With plenty of rules and regulations, the participants take extra precautions to make sure they abide.
“We all make sure we are safe,” Jones said. “Most of the people on the team have had gun experiences before and know how to use the guns the right way, and how to keep from using them the wrong way.”
Safety to the eyes of the public, would most likely viewed as a big concern. Staying safe on this trapshooting team is taken seriously from top to bottom.
“We are always worrying about safety,” Wilkey said. “We always have to wear ear plugs, and glasses. We can never leave a shell in the gun, and we always have to have it pointed downrange. We do enough that it is safe, but not so much that all of our time is spent discussing safety, we have fun at the same time.”
Just like any other sport, trapshooting isn’t easy at first, but that hasn’t stopped Sterling from growing the team.
“At first it s really hard,” Wilkey said. “But once you get the hang of it, it is really fun, and you get to keep practicing and eventually you get much better.”
The trapshooting team is always open to new members.
“I tell all my friends to do it,” Gillespie said. “ It doesn’t take up much time out of your schedule, and we have some really good coaches. I know 100% you will be better at shooting traps within a few practices.
Jones agreed, and hopes that more and more people come out each year to be apart of the team.
“Even if you have never shot a gun in your life, come out and we will teach you how to,” he said. “Not only that but we will have a heck of a time doing it.”
Trapshooting has provided an outlet for students, and another means of competition. In just its second year it seems that the team has made steps in the right direction, and hopefully that doesn’t stop anytime soon.
“Overall it is just a great time,” Gillespie said. “ We ggo out, compete, and have a great time. Looking forward, it will only get better.”