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Clay Dusters Trap Team Enjoys Successful Season

Saturday, July 15, 2017 @ 12:07 AM

Posted by Scott Shindledecker

claydusters trap 2KNOX, Pa. (EYT) — The Keystone/Clarion/North Clarion Clay Dusters trap team completed their second competitive season in the Pennsylvania State High School Clay Target League taking first place in their conference.

The league consisted of an eight-week season that culminated in a State Championship Shoot at Clairton Sportsman’s Club.

Keystone’s Morgan Ritzler was the top female shooter in the conference and finished second in the state at the conclusion of the season.

Daniel Rodgers, also a Keystone student finished second in the conference and in the top ten in the state. North Clarion’s Hunter Bradley finished third in the conference while Lucas Baker from Clarion completed the season in sixth place. Keystone’s Nathan Simmons and Justin Weaver completed the season in seventh and eighth places.

Rodgers, Bradley, Baker, Simmons and Weaver qualified for the All State Team.

At the State Shoot in Clairton, the team finished fourth overall with Simmons recording 25 straight and Rodgers hitting 50 in a row.

Other participating members of the Clay Dusters from North Clarion included Kolten Bradley, Bryce Byers, Cole Byers, Jordan McCord Wolbert, and Joseph Zona.

The remaining Keystone athletes were Rachel Champluvier, Darin Cochran, David Custer, Devin Dunkle, Kayla Dunkle, Abigail Facciani, Travis Greenawalt, Paul Kaltenbach Jr., Sawyer Reed, Jaykeb Porter, Ryan Rogers, Dylan Switzer, and Jelly Seigworth.

“The spring league is a great opportunity for student athletes all over the country and the state to compete, and a special thank you to the USA and Pennsylvania State High School Clay Target program for their commitment and support,” coach Matt Baker said.

On June 10 and 11 the Clay Dusters traveled to Elysburg, Pa., to compete in the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) and the Academics-Integrity-Marksmanship (AIM) state tournaments.

The SCTP and AIM tournament featured the top shooters from around the state, with over 400 competitors on Saturday and Sunday. The students competed in three events; 16-yard singles, handicaps, and doubles.

SONY DSCThe SCTP team of Rodgers, Dunkle, Simmons, Ritzler, and Rogers were able to place third in the Open Division.

This is the third consecutive year that a Clay Duster team has placed in the SCTP state tournament.

In the individual AIM awards, Rodgers won the junior handicap division and placed second in doubles. Baker finished with runner-up honors in sub-junior handicaps and fifth place in doubles.

The Clay Dusters started as a club to introduce new students in seventh grade through 12th to the sport of trap shooting.

More than 40 students from Keystone, Clarion, and North Clarion participate in the open club shoots. Participation in the club is open to any student interested at those schools.

A special thank you goes out to Ray Russ at the Richland Shotgun Club and Paul Baughman at the Allegheny Valley Sportsman’s Association for inviting the Clay Dusters to practice and compete at their clubs.

A huge thank you is also sent to Clarion County Sportsmen for Youth, through their generous donations, this organization makes many opportunities available to these young men and women.

The Keystone, Clarion, and North Clarion School districts have been supportive in this venture.

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