Just as most fall sports were winding down and winter activities ramping up, the Canby High School trap shooting team was in the midst of a dominant fall campaign.
Canby finished first in their five-team conference, ahead of Silverton, Mountain View, Molalla and La Grande, collecting 6,524.5 points over the course of the six-week season. Silverton took home second-place honors with 5,338.
Senior and team captain Brandon Slater was the top male, finishing first in the conference and second statewide with an average score of 24.1 (out of 25) for the fall season.
On the ladies’ side, Canby’s Hollie Lopez finished eighth in the state with a 21.8 average, and Rylie Sullivan claimed 10th with an average mark of 21.2.
Not only did the Cougars win the cumulative season total, they also topped the competition at each individual meet, scoring 1,085.5, 1,318.5, 1,378, 1,515.5 and 1,227.
Canby is one of 20 or so high schools in the state with a trap shooting team, competing in the Oregon State High School Clay Target League.
The activity is believed to be the fastest-growing sport in Oregon. A record 358 students took part statewide this year, and Canby also fielded its largest-ever team — 58, which was also Oregon’s biggest team.
“I think our team would have been even bigger if more parents had known about it,” head coach Chuck McClaugherty explained. “I’m anticipating that this spring, we’ll push 70 to 80 students.”
Unlike most high school sports, junior high students (sixth to eighth grade) are also eligible to take part in trap shooting. The sport is co-ed and adaptive, meaning students with physical disabilities can join.
McClaugherty said the sport’s ability helps team young people responsibility and gun safety and builds confidence, teamwork and leadership skills.
“I think the parents are seeing a big change in their kids,” he said. “It builds maturity and teaches how to use firearms safety. That’s our No. 1 thing out here: safety. And then having fun.”
Registration for the 2022 spring season opens February 1 and practice will begin the last week of March. Competition kicks off April 17 and will culminate with the national championship in Mason, Mich., in July.
For more information about joining the Canby High School Trap Shooting Team next year, contact McClaugherty at email@example.com or 503-793-8063.
To hear more from McClaugherty, check out Episode 314 of Now Hear This: Canby, “Shut Your Trap”:
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