By Dave Hohler
The Cumberland County Clay Crushers intermediate entry (IE) trap squad finished second, while the varsity trap squad finished third at the scholastic clay target program’s national championships held at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, IL, July 15-20.
After winning both the Region III and the Tennessee state championships in June, the IE Red squad was fired up to bring home the “Holy Grail” of SCTP trapshooting — a national championship trophy.
Led by Clint Kemmer’s outstanding (192X200) and with help from Darren Kittrell (184),Taylor Webb (183), Robbie Parks (183) and David Weismuller (172), for a 914X1000 total, this squad would fall just six targets short to the winning Buckeye Chippewa Youth Trapshooting club from Akron, OH.
Thirty squads competed in the IE division. (Buckeye Chippewa also placed third in IA, third in JV and ninth in Varsity.)
Kemmer’s personal best score of 192 placed third out of 188 IE shooters and was just six targets behind the top score of 198 posted by Will McBride of the McKenzie, TN, High School Shooting Sports team.
Taylor Webb, possibly the most improved shooter on the entire Clay Crusher team, continued her outstanding shooting that started back in the regionals, by posting a 183 to finish second out of 42 lady shooters. Her score was just four targets behind the high gun lady score of 187 posted by Heather Broski from the Spring Hill, TN Target team.
Also taking a spot on the national championship podium at Sparta was the Clay Crusher varsity Red squad that finished third out of 69 squads in the”open” class with a 940 total.
When head coach Fred Petersen decided to elevate the hot-shooting Cody Chattin, a junior varsity shooter, up to the senior varsity squad for this event, this squad then became a “mixed varsity” squad which was then required to compete in the “open” class as opposed to the more numerous and highly competitive “senior varsity” squads where all shooters were senior varsity shooters.
The IE and IA squads were each made up of all IE and IA shooters. As such, they competed against all other similarly composed IE and IA squads.
Varsity (open) squad members were Cody Chattin (194), Seth Petersen (193), Meghan Server (193), Nathan Wattenbarger (184) and Andy Carey (176).
Cody Chattin, another Clay Crusher to step-up his shooting this year, finished 15th out of 306 shooters. Server’s 193 finished 10th out of 96 lady shooters.
Varsity champions in the open class were the Bulldog Claybusters with a 962 total. Burlington High School from Burlington, WI won the senior varsity squad and the overall national championship with a 986X1000.
The Morristown, TN, Nighthawks, in 2008, set the state record (496X500) and the national record at 497/490 = 987X1000.
The Clay Crusher IE White squad made up of Cooper Wyatt (179), Steven Douglas (176), Corbin Moore (166), Cody Hyder (165) and Dylan Mowdy (160) for an 846 total finished in ninth place.
The last Clay Crusher squad competed in the intermediate advanced (IA) division. This squad was led by Ty Stone with a personal best 195 followed by Jordan Burgess(192), Ryley Phillips (180), Spencer Wooten (174) and Hunter Webb (156) for an 897 total to finish 13th out of 24 squads.
Stone is yet another one of those hotshots coming out of the IE and IA ranks that will bolster the junior varsity next year. His 195 finished fourth out of 158 competitors in the IA division.
Hunter Thornton posted one of only four perfect 200’s at this event to lead his Brittany Youth Gun Club squad out of Bunker Hill, IL to the IA championship with a 963 score.
Also competing individually as non-squaded shooters were Clay Crushers in senior varsity — Nate Hembree (186), Casey Clark (176), Derrick Taylor (175); junior varsity — Cody McAnally (183), Madeline Kittrell (160) ; IE — Kaylee Chattin (103) and rookie shooter Gavin Threet (112).
Tennessee shooters once again showed up in force with 462 shooters out of a total of 1883 entries in trap. Tennessee fielded 34 teams out of a total of 159 entries. Illinois was second with 376 shooters from 22 teams followed by Wisconsin with 214 shooters from 17 teams.