Dan Adkins – Georgetown News-Graphic:
Scott County Schools added another sport when the school board granted middle- and high-school students and their parents’ request to start a trap-shooting club.
Nearly two dozen students, accompanied by their parents, crowded into the Scott County Board of Education’s February work session last week to make their case.
“Not only is shooting trap a very enjoyable sport, it also helps develop this nation’s future leaders,” Scott County High School sophomore Kayla Putty said.
“As with any sport, shooting builds character and teaches its participants how to lead others and remain positive in stressful situations,” she said.
SCHS student Greg Madison said clay-target shooting includes anyone who wants to participate such as boys, girls and students with physical disabilities.
“You can do it your entire life,” he added, as opposed to other sports.
“There are two people from Scott County who have received (scholarships) for trap shooting to attend college,” Madison said, citing Drew Cropper and Cory Stamper.
He cited Yale, Harvard, Purdue, Bethel, Midlands, Northern Kentucky and Western Kentucky universities as colleges that offer trap-shooting scholarships.
The possibility of students’ winning scholarships grabbed board Vice Chair Kevin Kidwell’s attention, who made the motion to approve the club.
Board member Jennifer Holbert said, “I am not a gun proponent. I have almost been shot once. I was carjacked at gunpoint. I don’t like guns.
“But if this will afford a student a scholarship, I am all for this. Because of your information gathering, you have turned an anti-gun person into a trap-shooting enthusiast,” Holbert added.
During the students’ 15-minute presentation, the board also heard from Don Putty, Superintendent Patricia Putty’s husband and Kayla Putty’s grandfather.
Putty assured the board that no shotguns used in trap-shooting practice and in competitions will be brought to schools or carried on buses.
Most competitions, he said, will involve an online scoring system.
Putty also said more than 200 parents and students turned out Wednesday night in an organizational meeting of the Scott County Clay Target League.
“We have at this present time 64 students who are signed up,” he said.
The sport will not require a stipend for a school district-paid coach, since trap shooting currently is not recognized by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association.
SCHS teacher D.T. Wells will act as the team’s sponsor.
“We actually have a parent who is a military-trained range-safety officer. The rest of the coaches will be trained” by Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife officers, Putty said.
Participating students also will receive some training from the Fish and Wildlife officers, he said.
“First and foremost, the priority is safety. (The students) have to be certified before they can be participate,” Putty said.
“We’re going to make sure that’s in place before we fire the first round,” he said.
Dan Adkins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reprinted by permission from the Georgetown News-Graphic