Being a teenager in high school requires a lot of work and also commitment to school activities such as sports, theatre or other related time killers. I fell into this pattern my freshman year and I learned none of these are activities I really loved. One day a friend invited me to our local shotgun range and while we were shooting I noticed people going around and writing scores down.
After shooting I had a gentleman approach me and asked if I had shot in any trap competitions before. I told him my history of shooting in NRA YHEC competitions, which included sporting clays, and his eyes lit up. He told me the days he’d be at the range and asked if I would come shoot more often and invited me to shoot in their event coming up.
I eventually discontinued regular school sports and started showing up twice a week to the shooting range. This man helped me with shooting form. He showed me how to hold compared to the trap house and where I should be hitting the bird. I caught on very fast. Soon enough I had people asking me to shoot on their team. I decided to be on this gentleman’s team because he taught me so much.
I joined a league shoot, so we shot for 10 weeks. At the end of that time period, I had the lowest total on the score sheet. I felt a little down but I knew there was nowhere to go but up from there. I averaged about 18 clays a round and most people averaged a 24. I decided this wasn’t the time to give up and pushed myself to get better and really focused.
Over time I raised my average and even went to a lot more competitions. My team, Los Gatos Negros, won the league five times in a row. My team consists of three older gentlemen, myself, and a young man about my age. We have a lot of fun shooting together and they are all very supportive. I couldn’t be happier that I decided to start in the sport.
We are now starting our sixth season of league and I will continue to shoot with the same team. I am now averaging 24 clays a round, am keeping up with all the guys I shoot with, and have even scored a few perfect rounds. I am still working to improving in many areas but the best part is even with the ups and downs of the sport I still love it and hope to continue it for years to come!