The Cumberland County Clay Crusher scholastic clay target program (SCTP) team won the 2013 Region III trap championship over competitors from Gainsboro High School, Sale Creek High School and White County High School at the Sportsman’s Club shooting complex on Shorty Barnes road June 1.
Although the competition this year in Region III was a bit stronger, the results were the same as the past eight years with the Clay Crushers winning all the events except the Rookie division. Cumberland County has only one rookie shooter.
A total of 67 shooters competed at this event with 35 of those from the Clay Crusher team.
Gainsboro competed with just six shooters in varsity, while Sale Creek and White County fielded full squads in the junior varsity division.
In the Intermediate Entry (IE) division, White County fielded a full squad, while Sale Creek competed with just four shooters. Sale Creek fielded four shooters in the rookie division.
In the past, division champions from any of the five divisions were chosen from the highest squad’s score. As such, team coaches placed their five best shooters on one squad in an effort to win that division's championship. Although squad scores are still recognized for awards, this year the division team champion is chosen from the top five individual scores from all of the competing shooters.
With this new format, coaches are now free to “balance” all of their squads to encourage more intersquad competition, hopefully resulting in higher scores from all shooters. It is expected that next year individual squad awards will essentially be eliminated and more individual awards recognized.
This new approach worked well with the 12 Cumberland County varsity division shooters, when head coach Fred Petersen placed Seth Petersen (97X100), Casey Clark (95), Leigh Smith (89), Meghan Server (88) and Andy Carey (82) on the Red squad to “compete” against the White squad members of Nate Hembree (91), Megan Burgess (90), Luke Kemmer and Nathan Wattenbarger ( 89 each), and Cody Chattin at 85.
The Red squad total of 451 edged the White squad score of 444 by just six targets — thus a very close competition.
Derrick Taylor and Logan Adams competed separately (no longer as alternates) with both firing 95s. The varsity team champions were the top five shooters – Petersen (97), Clark (95), Taylor (95), Adams (95) and Hembree (91) for a 473 total.
The Gainsboro Blue Devils placed a distant second in the varsity competition with a 363 total.
The Clay Crusher JV squad of Derek Rose (93), Andrew Smith (90), Madeline Kittrell (86), Cody McAnally (83) and Ally Petersen (78) posted a 430 squad and team champion score to easily outpace the White County Clay Crackers 411 score. The Sale Creek Panther JV’s placed third with a 338.
Just six shooters, all from Cumberland County, competed in the Intermediate Advanced (IA) division.
IA shooters were Jordan Burgess (97), Ty Stone (93), Ryley Phillips (87), Hunter Webb (83), Aden Mathis (82) and Spencer Wooten (72) for an IA team champion score of 442.
In the IE division, the Clay Crusher Red squad of Taylor Webb (93), Darren Kittrell (92), Clint Kemmer (87), Robbie Parks (82) and David Weismuller (80) teamed up to post a squad score of 434 to defeat the White squad of Corbin Moore (83), Cooper Wyatt (76), Steven Douglas (71), Dylan Moody (68) and Cody Hyder (67) that posted a 365 total. Kaylee Chattin was the 11th IE shooter and shot a 51.
The Cumberland County IE champion score of 437 easily defeated the White County IE team that fired a 288 total. Sale Creek competed with just four IE shooters to post a 232 score
Only five Rookie shooters competed at this event. The Sale Creek Panthers fielded four shooters to post a 209 score. The fifth shooter, Gavin Threet from Cumberland County, fired a 58.
By far, the best individual performance of this event went to IE shooter Taylor Webb who fired a personal best 93X100 score to win the high-girl score of all five divisions. This is believed to be a TNSCTP state record performance. Proud grandfather and assistant coach, Richard Webb, was speechless when his granddaughter walked off the line. Varsity shooter Megan Burgess fired the runner-up girl score of 90.
IA shooter Jordan Burgess and Varsity hotshot Seth Petersen competed in an informal, high-gun boy, 25 target shoot-off after both tied with preliminary scores of 97. Burgess defeated his senior mentor 24 to 22.
The Clay Crushers last competition this year will be the SCTP state championship in Nashville on June 20-23.