From the cold days of February to the sweltering heat of July, the shooters who make up the Lewis County Shooting Sport’s Clay Target Team have endured it all. “Made up of boys and girls ranging from nine-years-old to seniors in high school, this is one of the most diverse groupings of young people participating in an organized sport in Lewis County,” Adam Clark, head coach of the Lewis County Trap team, said. “This season has been eventful to say the least. Our kids, as a whole, have registered more than 50,000 rounds and have been very successful.”
“With several squad and individual awards being earned in the Mid–South Trap league, with students from Lewis, Perry, Humphreys, and Lawrence Counties participating, and several top ten finishers in the regional and state tournaments, we have a lot to be proud of this season. But it isn’t over yet,” Clark continued.
Lewis County will be represented by three young shooters in the Scholastic Clay Target Program’s National Championships in Marengo, Ohio, on July 13 and 14, 2016. Participating in the top SCTP tournament in the country from Lewis County will be Mercie Ashmore, daughter of Chad and Stephanie Ashmore. Mercie placed fourth in the State of Tennessee in the female rookie division, earning an invitation to the nationals.
“Our shooters represented Lewis County well this season, but some put more into the program than others and their efforts bore fruit. When a kid goes from hitting one or two targets a round to shooting in the 40s and 50s as some of our young shooters did, we all gain a sense of accomplishment and pride in what we are doing,” Coach Clark commented.
“Seeing these young girls like Mercie and Zoie shoot toe to toe with the boys makes me feel good about all of our hard work,” Coach Rhonda Wills also added.
Coach Clark also added, “This program would not be possible without the unselfish dedication of our boosters, our community and our coaches. Our coaches volunteered hundreds of hours of practice time, traveled weekly spending their own money and gas on our kids. They are the backbone of this program and should be given more in return than we are able to give. But that isn’t why they do it day in and day out, it is about our kids.”
This year’s coaching staff consisted of Wills, Justin Skelton, James Howard, Rodney Hensley, Larry Morris and Clark. The boosters raised the funds needed to operate the program and are currently searching for 20-30 acres of land on which to build a range, thus cutting down on travel time and expense. “The community has rallied behind our fundraisers and has helped us make this sport more affordable for our families,” a booster club member stated.
“Our organization asks that you all pray for the shooters, coaches and families representing Lewis County as they travel and participate in this awesome experience of shooting in the National Championships,” Clark concluded.
If anyone is interested in selling acreage to the trap boosters and the trap team, contact Coach Clark at (931) 628-2289, Larry Morris at (931) 628-1877 or Angela Leigh at (931) 628-0466.
Lewis County Shooting Sports’ Young Guns Show Out in SCTP Nationals
Ashmore places fourth
By Coach Adam Clark
Three members of the Lewis County Shooting Sports traveled to Marengo, Ohio July 13 and 14, 2016 to compete in the top SCTP (Scholastic Clay Target Program) tournament in the country.
Peyton Tripp, the son of Ashley Tripp competed in the Intermediate Entry Class, while Zoie Clark, the daughter of Adam and Maranda Clark, and Mercie Ashmore, the daughter of Chad and Stephanie Ashmore competed in the Rookie class.
To paint a picture of this tournament, one must realize there are some 3,000 shooters from 27 different states competing for five top spots in each class. Lewis County is fortunate to have a young lady who performed well enough to earn one of these top five spots. Mercie Ashmore shot her high score of 77 which combined with her first score, was high enough to make her the fourth best shooter in the female rookie class nationally. “After her performance, this humble little lady was brought to tears, as were her supporters, with her dad being her biggest fan,” Coach Adam Clark stated.
Zoie Clark also shot her personal best round, earning the 15th spot in her class. She stated she was definitely competing again next year. “Mercie and Zoie talked several times about trying to gather as many young ladies together to shoot with them next year as possible. Maybe they can get enough to have full squads of girls in each of their classes next year,” is their hope.
Peyton Tripp was able to shoot his personal best score in the Nationals while competing in a very competitive class.
All in all, Tennessee sent nearly one-third of all shooters to nationals and, in several classes, held many of the top five spots. “This is hopefully a sign of things to come for our program and the state of Tennessee in SCTP,” Coach Clark continued.
If you have a child who would be interested in shooting for Lewis County next year, watch for articles in the Lewis County Herald, or contact Coach Clark at (931) 628-2289 for details.
The coaches, boosters, shooters and their parents would like to personally thank everyone who played a part in the success of the program this season. “We would also like to ask for your continued support in the future,” Coach Clark concluded.