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The Canby High School trap shooting team took first place in its conference for the 2022 spring season, setting up what looks to be a highly competitive state championship on June 26 in Hillsboro, followed by nationals next month.
Brandon Slater was the top-performing marksman on the boys’ side, finishing second in conference during the regular season, while Canby’s Rylie Sullivan, Hollie Lopez and Hailey McClaugherty completed the clean sweep for the girls with a 1-2-3 finish.
Head coach Chuck McClaugherty spotlighted other top contributors on this year’s squad, including Ayden Griesenauer, Hunter Robinson, Elijah Rowley, Kaeden Eide, Saxon Montes, Anthony Anderson, Samuel Lopez, Isaac Odell, Tyler Schweitzer, Keegan Hill, Benjamin Birkemeier, Blake Miller, Logan Robinson, Wyatt Samarin, Maxx Close, Cash Etzel, Wade Sandberg, Ty Matthews, Caleb Cole, Dillion Fender, Austin Hepler, Caden Magenheimer and Trevin Slagle.
The Cougs were dominant in the spring preseason, besting conference foes Newberg and Mountain View in each of the five weeks of competition and finishing with a season score of 11,833.50.
In addition to its many individual and team successes, Canby boasts the title of the state’s largest high school trap shooting team, with 68 shooters this year — about a quarter of them female.
“Having the largest team in the state of Oregon takes a great group of coaches, scorekeepers and volunteers to make it run smoothly,” McClaugherty said. “We used all seven trap fields at the Canby Rod and Gun Club each week.”
Trap is one of the fastest-growing high school sports in the state and nation, and McClaugherty has seen his team’s numbers explode in the past couple of years, especially during Covid-19, when the non-contact, exclusively outdoor activity was one of the few still able to operate.
“I think it’s growing so fast because athletes and families are having fun, everyone gets to participate, it’s co-ed and adaptive to all skill levels,” McClaugherty said. “And we have great support from the community and the Canby Rod and Gun Club! I wouldn’t be surprised to have over 100 students on the team within the next few years.”
The 13 girls on the team were particularly impressive this season, McClaugherty said, sweeping the top three spots in the conference. All will be returning next season.
“We have 13 girls on our team and we are always wanting to increase those numbers,” he said. “The girls are hands-down doing amazing, and the best part is they are all returning next year to show the boys how it’s done!”
McClaugherty also thanked local magician Scott Anderson, who put on two full-length shows to fundraise for the team last month. The performances at the Canby Fine Arts Center sold more than 900 tickets and raised enough money to send almost 60 athletes to the state championships.
“It’s been a very exciting season watching so many athletes shoot great scores and getting better each week,” McClaugherty said. “It was great to be back to a normal season with practicing, fundraising events and seeing kids having fun. The future of the Canby High School trap shooting team is looking great!”
The Molalla High School trap team also impressed this season, winning their eight-team conference with a cumulative score of 14,242 across five weeks of competition. La Grande finished second with 13,108.50, and Silverton took third with 13,001.
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