Trapshooting continues through COVID

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Melissa Craig

The trap team is made up of 15 athletes.

Adelle Petraitis , Feature Editor

The trap shooting team has 15 athletes for the 2021 spring season, with Melissa Craig as their coach. A big increase from the 2020 season, where only 5 athletes participated. 

Coach Melissa Craig has been coaching the team for two years, and is the Oregon state director for the USA clay target league, as well as director for Washington, Idaho, and Hawaii. 

The official season began on March 29 and runs into the end of May, for thoses who want to participate in the state championship it will go until the end of June, and for thoses athletes that want to continue on to national, it’s going to run into July. 

“The most challenging part has been hesitation and flexibility required with participation because there are so many moving parts with the mandates that get changed and sometimes with not a lot of notice, that has really required coaches, athletes, and parents to have a real high level of flexibility,” Craig said. 

The USA Clay Target league has been able to continue through covid because the stations are 9-feet apart, there is no sharing equipment, and there is no travel, you shoot at the same place twice a week. 

Sophomore Jesse Luttrell is captain of the team and placed first in state in the 2020 season. 

“Trap has had a very good impact, I met a lot of friends, did a lot of cool things, traveled a lot, and went to Michigan to shoot,” Luttrell said. 

“I like the community, the people. They are very supportive and you don’t have to be good at the sport, they are very welcoming,” said eighth grader Cecelia Petraitis. 

The league started in Oregon in 2016 with three teams and now there are 51 teams and over 800 participants. Each team is represented at a school so there are 51 schools with teams. 

“Instead of 50 targets per week on a once a week basis, the league is able to accommodate kids that have to stay home because of quarantining. Even though those challenges were in palace the league recognized fairly early on that some flexibility needed to be in place and accommodate with a little bit more relaxed scoring systems,” Craig said. 

Pre covid each athlete had to shoot 50 targets per week for 5 weeks. Now the league is more relaxed and is allowing athletes more time to shoot because of quarantining. 

“The league Provides  an opportunity for students to learn how to handle firearms in a safe, controlled, supervised environment,” said Craig. 

For more information you can go to orclaytarget.com.