HARRIS COUNTY, Ga. (WRBL) — Recently, 35 members of Harris County High School (HCHS) Shotgun Team competed in the 2022 Georgia Scholastic Clay Target Program State Championship, according to a press release from the Harris County School District. The event was hosted at the Forest City Gun Club in Savannah, Georgia.

The students competed in the disciplines of trap, skeet, and sporting clays. HCHS had one champion and four third place finishers.

“Our shooters have trained hard throughout the spring, shooting hundreds of rounds in preparation,” said Head Coach Angie Everson. “They arrived in Savannah focused and ready to represent Harris County, and I just couldn’t be prouder of them.”

During the trap event, shooters hit clay targets in the air.

Allie Gray Everson – JV Ladies trap champion

“In this discipline, the shooters know the target’s point of origin but not the coming angle, which creates an intense challenge for even the most experienced shooters,” says the press release.

For this event, Alli Gray Everson placed as the JV Ladies Trap Champion. Sims Benson placed third as an intermediate advanced shooter. The intermediate advanced trap squad of shooters Sims Benson, Nick McAllister, Asa Duke, JJ Bridges and Tripp Meyer were third place finishers.

“A wise man [Joe Dickson] once told me that it’s not always about winning; it’s the experience that makes it worthwhile,” Everson said. “I carry that with me through every shoot, knowing each experience makes me a better shooter.”

According to the press release, sporting clays is often referred to as “golf with a shotgun.”

“[S]porting clays is a popular shotgun shooting discipline that involves shooting on a scenic course, with no two courses alike,” it says. “The target’s speed, angle, and distance vary with each station. Because of the varying terrain and random nature of the targets, this event is considered one of the most realistic bird hunting simulations and is often the most challenging.”

Clay Garrett Baker, Rylan Culpepper,
and Colin Henson – Third place rookie
squad for sporting clays

For the sporting clays competition, competitors Clay Garrett Baker, Rylan Culpepper and Colin Henson made up the third-place rookie squad.

“In the skeet event, shooters move along a semi-circle with eight stations,” says the press release. “At each station, competitors shoot a single target, one from the high house and one from the low house. Some stations require the shooter to hit targets thrown simultaneously.”

There were 100 targets at the skeet event. Sims Benson, JJ Bridges, and Nick McAllister made up the third-place intermediate advanced squad.

“If you could see them compete, you would see athletes that encourage their squad-mates, that put into practice all the things that the coaches have taught them, that are respectful of their competitors, and that enjoy being a part of such a great sport,” Everson said. “They make me proud to be their coach, and I’m very glad that Harris County offers such an amazing opportunity for these kids. Well done Harris County. As I tell them often, have fun and break targets.