• Dennis McCaslin

Fort Smith, West Fork clay target shooters sweep senior and junior divisions at meet

Perfect weather and smiling faces greeted today’s participants in the Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program Senior Division competition. Shooters from the program’s West region competed at the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation’s Jacksonville Shooting Range to take part in the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission program.

With last year’s competition cancelled because of COVID-19 concerns, everyone was ready to get back to a day of camaraderie in the outdoors.

The Fort Smith Minutemen posted the day’s top score, hitting 232 thrown clay targets out of a possible 250. Lamar Warriors Senior 1 was on their heels, falling short of the first-place pace by only two hit targets. Shiloh Christian School’s Blue Angels took third with a score of 225.

In the Junior Division, West Fork Shotgun Club squeaked out a first-place finish Friday, besting the second-place Minutemen from Fort Smith by a single clay. Greenwood Bulldogs Trap Attack was only two clays short of first, but with the competition so tight, they finished in third place.

Each member of a trap-shooting squad in the senior division shoots two rounds of 25 targets for a total possible score of 50 per shooter.

With five shooters per squad, each team will pull the trigger 250 times before the scoring is done. Juniors shoot a single round of 25.

The top 16 squads in each of four regions across the state are eligible for the AYSSP Junior State Tournament June 4; the AYSSP Senior State Tournament is set for June 5.

Botey Teter of Berryville Shooting Sports was the only shooter to run the table today, scoring a perfect 50 out of 50 and leading his team to a fourth-place finish.

He will join the perfect shooters from all other regions to compete in the Champion of Champions individual shoot off at the AYSSP State Championship June 5. The West regional did not have a shooter who tallied a perfect score in the Junior Division, a feat many adults rarely achieve.

This was the third weekend of competition leading up to the championship round.

This week concludes the regionals with South Region teams taking the field May 21-22. Junior division competition (grades 6-8) was held Friday; senior division competition (grades 9-12) is being held today.

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