Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area Sports

May 29, 2014

Hudgens cleans house at Sportsman Club shoot

CROSSVILLE — Brandon Hudgens, a Class A shooter and a senior at Heritage High School in Maryville, proved once again  he is one of the best trap shooters in the state by sweeping all three events (singles, handicap and doubles) at the Fairfield Glade Sportsman Club’s second Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA) event of the year May 24.

Hudgens, a member of the Heritage scholastic clay target program (SCTP) shooting team, won the opening singles event in a 50-target shoot-off against fellow teammate Nathan Ford and another SCTP hotshot from White County High School in Sparta, Cody Dean, when all three initially posted 98X100 scores.

Ford dropped two targets and was eliminated in the first 25-target shoot-off with Hudgens and Dean “staying clean” at 25X25 each. Dean dropped the 13th target in the second round, while Hudgens went on to post another 25 and win the event.

Hudgens shoulders SKB and has been shooting for four years. He is the son of John and Sandra Hudgens of Maryville.

Dean is the son of Ricky and Teresa Dean of Sparta and has been competing for just over one year.

By virtue of their scores of 98, Dean would win the Class A singles award while Ford took the Class B title. Lake Tansi’s Jim Ezelle won Class C with a 96.

Hudgens won the handicap championship with a 95 while firing from 23-yards back. Dean showed his runner-up in the singles event was no fluke by posting a 94 to win over the 18-21 yard line competitors. Jim Jameson of Knoxville won the 22-27 yard line award with an 89.

Hudgens completed the three event sweep by winning the doubles title with a 91 over Mark Bess of Morrison, TN who posted an 89.

Remember that you don’t need to be a top-dog shooter to compete in an ATA event. You will be classified and compete against shooters of your own skill level, from Class D up through C, B, A, AA and the highest level, AAA.

If it seems like these student shooters are starting to dominate this sport, you are exactly right. Almost all these youngsters are the product of the SCTP that was created by the National Shooting Sports Foundation in the late 1990s as a means to acquaint students in elementary and high school to the clay target shooting programs of trap, skeet and sporting clays.

By the time these young men and women reach junior varsity and varsity age, they can compete and win against adults with many more years of experience.

In fact, their toughest competition, as shown this weekend, may be their fellow classmates. Invariably, all of these kids are not only excellent students, but are also the most disciplined and respectful youngsters you will ever meet. Could it be that the discipline of the shooting sports has something to do with that?

The club's next ATA shoot will be June 28. Special thanks to Luanne Brennan for serving lunch.

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