Breaking Clays And Records At Nationals


“Pull,” said Ray Merrill, on the Chippewa Hills Schools Trap League.

One word, heard one million times this weekend followed by one million trigger pulls.

“Holy smokes I got invited, I’ll have to come down I guess,” Ray laughed.

Nearly 2,000 kids from 13 different states competing at the USA High School Clay Target League National Championship.

“This is the first ever USA High School Target League, it’s the official league, it’s the first ever national championship,” said Tony Caladrese, the head coach for Chippewa Hills Schools Trap League.

11 of those kids are from Northern Michigan.

“It’s a pretty big deal to me,” said Kayla Remus, on the Chippewa Hills Schools Trap League.

They’re on the Reed City Schools and Chippewa Hills Schools Trap Shooting League started just one year ago.

“I went out with them one time and like ‘I wanna try it’ and my school got a team this year, I was like ‘oh, I want to try this,’ so I got my gun for Christmas and been shooting since,” she said.

“We had a little bit of everything,” explained the head coach for Reed City Schools, Jack Adrianse.

From kids who’ve been shooting their whole lives, to kids just giving it a shot for the first time this year.

However, all coming together to dust clays at nationals alongside the best of the best in the country.

“It’s a great day for the kids, huge day, it means a lot,” he said.

“Every bird that comes out is going to be just a little bit different, you have to lead it just a small bit, you can’t aim right at the bird,” she said.

“When I shot the 99, I missed one, I did with number 19 out of the house, so after I realized I said ‘I’m done missing for the day’ and shot good the rest of the day,” Ray explained.

And then, he didn’t miss one the rest of the weekend, shooting a perfect 100.

Breaking records, with his trusted companion.

Everyone runs through a different routine in their head before pulling the trigger.

“Nerve wrecking that’s for sure,” explained Heather. “Keep your head down on the stock, that’s what I have to keep telling myself every time.”

But they all feel the same rush hoping to turn the clay into dust – the adrenaline.

Ray Merrill from Chippewa Hills placed 13th in the nations, Gavin Wirth from Reed City placed 35th.

Categories: the four