Arizona was well-represented at the Scholastic Clay Target Program National Championships in Sparta, Ill. this summer, earning four national championships, many 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place finishes. More than 2,000 athletes from across the nation were vying for the big wins, including 52 SCTP members on six Arizona teams from the Ben Avery Clay Crushers, Brophy Broncos, Tucson Shooting Stars, Lake Havasu Clay Slayers, Rio Salado Target Terminators and the Prescott Bird Busters.
The disciplines available at the nationals this year were trap, skeet and sporting clays. Every athlete, coach and parent represented themselves exceedingly well and they were a credit to the state of Arizona and the Scholastic Clay Target Program.
The national championship trophies for 2013 are:
Ben Avery Clay Crushers Rookie Division (5th grade and under)
National Champions in Sporting Clays & Skeet
Victor Cordova (Cave Creek), Teague Swanson (Phoenix), Tanner Taylor (Peoria)
Ben Avery Clay Crushers Varsity Division (high school)
National Champions Sporting Clays
Kristopher MacDowell (Cave Creek), Caston Clausen (Scottsdale) and Tyler Taylor (Wickenburg)
High Overall (HOA) Main Event Runners-up
Nathan Penrod (Scottsdale), Kadin McDonald (Goodyear), Kristopher MacDowell (Cave Creek), Caston Clausen (Scottsdale) and Tyler Taylor (Wickenburg)
Brophy Shooting Sports (high school)
High School High Overall National Champions
Brophy’s 15-member team: Kyle Bowman (Glendale), Henry Carpenter (Paradise Valley), Francis Decastro (Glendale), Jake Dean (Scottsdale), Pierson Foi , Michael Gerchar (Phoenix), J.T Holloway (Phoenix), Grayson Jones (Phoenix), David Myers (Peoria), Nathaniel Moreno (Phoenix), Jeremy Nickerson (Phoenix), Chase Peterson (Phoenix), Thomas Rainer (Phoenix), Gabriel Santistevan (Phoenix) and Spencer Wix (Paradise Valley)
Rio Salado Target Terminators Intermediate Division (8th grade and under)
Fourth Place Intermediate Entry Sporting Clays
Dakota Jessen (Mesa), Matthew Campbell (Gilbert) and Nathaniel Tucker (Gilbert)
Tucson Shooting Stars Intermediate Division (8th grade and under)
Fifth Place Intermediate Entry Skeet
Connor Martin (Tucson), Johnny Kercheval (Tucson) and Angelo Degrazia (Tucson)
For a complete list of scores, visit www.shootsctp.org.
“The department is responsible for administering the program, but it is the dedication and commitment of our coaches and volunteers that make this program such a success,” said Dennis Fogle, shooting sports coordinator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “These individuals invest their time, money and energy so the kids can really enjoy themselves at every practice, fun shoot and championship. It is this kind of support that really shows how passionate our community is about passing on the shooting sports tradition.”
The Scholastic Clay Target Program is a team-based youth development program that uses the shotgun sports of trap, skeet, and sporting clays to instill life skills such as discipline, safety, teamwork, ethics and self-confidence. SCTP is administered within the state by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Students from age nine through college are eligible to participate in the safety-centric program led entirely by certified shotgun coaches. All new coaches are required to complete a two-day training course and pass a background check prior to mentoring the athletes.
To learn more about Scholastic Clay Target programs in your area, visit www.azgfd.gov/sctp or contact Shooting Sports Coordinator Dennis Fogle with Arizona Game and Fish Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or (623) 236-7305.
Logo courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Department