The Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s (TWF) Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) held its seventh Annual State Trapshooting Championships over the last two weekends in June at the Nashville Clay Target Complex for 785 students competing in four divisions — varsity, junior varsity, intermediate and rookies.

Starting in Tennessee in 2001 with just 16 student shooters, this program has exploded to nearly 2000 shooters this year, giving Tennessee more shooters than any other state.

Cumberland County sent five squads – one each in varsity, intermediate and rookie and two in the junior varsity division.

Crossville’s Mark Filley Jr., in his final year of SCTP competition, reached the summit of high school trapshooting in Tennessee by taking the High-Over-All (HOA) individual championship award in defeating his long time rival, Carson Rider of McKenzie HS.

Competing along with his teammates from CCHS in the varsity division, Filley would fire a perfect 200X200 to tie Rider, then defeat him in a 25 target shoot-off by just one target. (Filley lost to Rider last year in this same event.)

Teaming up with Filley in the team competition was Sam Music at 194, with Isaac Graham (186), Kevin Chamberlin (184) and William Lynn (180) for a total of 944 which was good enough for sixth place.

The state champion in this division was Morristown HS with a 976X1000. Finishing second through fitth place were perennial powers, McKenzie (968), Shelbyville (960,) Blackman (959) and Carroll County (952).

This was the fifth divisional title for Morristown, the others all prior to 2005.

As you may remember, the CCHS Jets took this title in 2005. That team was also anchored by Filley.

Commenting on his win, Filley stated, ”This was my last chance to win this event after coming so close last year. When he (Rider) missed that 24th target in the shoot-off, there was a groan that swept through the crowd. I knew I had him then.”

In the hotly contested junior varsity division, the junior varsity No.1 team finished in 13th place and JV No. 2 in 25th.

JV No. 1 was anchored by Cody Parson whose 194 total was just three targets off the boy’s HOA of 197 for the JV’s.

Cody was ably supported by Amanda Server’s 189 which was only one target behind the HOA girl champion, Rachel Baggett of Haywood HS. David Wyatt (184), Wilson Tanksley (178) and Jacob Jerrolds (176) rounded out this squad for a 921 total.

Server, a sophomore at CCHS, has only been shooting since last summer, but it’s easier to be on the fast track in shooting when your dad builds a trap range for you in your back yard.

Jacob Jarrett headed-up JV No. 2 with a 188, followed by Cody Pelfrey (181), Cody Hilker (178), Nick Sebok (173) and Spencer Music (156) for a total of 876.

Finishing first in this division was Chester County with a 952, followed by Coffee County with a 949 plus a 14-to-13 shoot-off win over Christian Brothers HS. Carroll County was fourth at 946 followed by Henry County at 945.

In the Intermediate division, the Cumberland County squad was anchored by two-time, All-State shooter Keisha Smith of Crab Orchard Elementary, firing a 187X200, which was HOA for girls in that division. Smith’s team consisted of Jimmy Weismuller (173) and Denny Cope (173) followed by Logan Johnson (130) and Patrick South (130) for a 793 total and 24th place.                     

The top five teams in this division were Jefferson County at 954, Middle Tennessee Christian (926), Chester County (923), Christiana Middle (912) and Carroll County (909).

An upcoming SMHS freshman, Smith has been garnering trophies and awards at the local and state level for over two years and is clearly one of the top female shooters in the state.

On June 10, she defeated a strong field of lady shooters to win the prestigious Tennessee Women’s Handicap Championship with a 94X100, shooting from the 20-yard line.

It is expected that team coach Rick Lynn will continue to combine the CCHS and SMHS teams for 2008, thus allowing Smith and Server to form the basis for a very strong JV team.

The Cumberland County rookie division squad finished 10th in the state.

This squad was led by the Kemmer twins, Seth (155) and Luke (154), followed by Ryan Davis (140), Kenneth Carey (126) and Jacob Garrett (99). State champion in this division was Chester County No. 1, who lapped the field with a 924, followed by the McKenzie Rebels (802), Chester County No.2 (784), Cheap Hill Cheap Shots (783) and Hoodlum Alley (739).

Want to know who is going to have a varsity powerhouse team in the next few years? Put your money on the Chester and Carroll County teams who each placed three of their squads in the top 15 teams in the lower divisions.

A spot review of these numbers show that not only are the high school students posting impressive averages of 95 to 98X100, which might be expected; but that the intermediate (grades 6-8) and Rookies (grades five and under) are right on their heels at 92 to 95X100. At that age you have perfect eyesight along with no nerves and no fear.

Cumberland County is not sending any SCTP teams to the nationals in Sparta, IL; however, Filley will attend and compete as an alternate (independent) in SCTP competition on Aug. 6-7 and also compete both individually and as a member of the Tennessee All-State Trapshooting Team in the Grand American events held on Aug 8-18.

Selected shooters from each division were invited to compete in the Tennessee Junior Olympic Championships in Paris, TN on July 25-29. Chosen from Cumberland County were Mark Filley Jr., Cody Parsons, Sam Music, Amanda Server and Keisha Smith.

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