Cocke County Claybusters

Members of the Cocke County Claybusters junior varsity trap team stand atop the podium after their third-place finish in the JV Trap Shooting event at the State Championships in Nashville, Tenn.

NASHVILLE—More than 1,250 youth athletes, from middle school to college, participated in the 2019 Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program State Championships on June 18-23 in Nashville.

Among them, the Cocke County Claybusters’ junior varsity trap shooting team posted a third-place effort in the team trap shooting event during the state championship.

State Championships spanned six full days of co-ed competition in three shotgun shooting sports disciplines: trap, skeet, and sporting clays, as well as doubles competitions. Individuals and teams from all corners of the state competed for titles in more than 70 categories.

“The dedication of our student athletes—and the parents and coaches who support them—is truly incredible,” said Andrew Peercy, Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program manager. “These youth are setting the bar for the shooting sports and what it means to pursue an outdoor lifestyle from a young age.”

The governing body of the sport in Tennessee is the Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program, an initiative of Tennessee Wildlife Federation. Tennessee Wildlife Federation is one of the largest and oldest nonprofits dedicated to the conservation of Tennessee’s wildlife and natural resources. Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program recruits youth into an outdoor lifestyle by introducing them to the shooting sports.

“Our athletes embody commitment and discipline. We’re looking forward to seeing many progress to Nationals the week of July 13,” said Peercy. “From middle school to college seniors, our competitors represent the future of outdoorsmen in Tennessee and ultimately the future of our state’s wildlife and natural resources.”

Hunters and anglers are leading advocates for policies that promote good stewardship of our natural resources and are the main source of funding wildlife conservation in Tennessee. But for every ten sportsmen today, only seven are growing up to take their place.

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