St. Louis — St. Louis area youth marksman teams made their mark last month by capturing national honors, including a national championship.
Two squads of young trap shooters from the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Jay Henges Shooting Range walked away with national titles at the Scholastic Clay Target Programs (SCTP) National Team Championship Competition. The trap and skeet shooting event was held at the World Recreational Shooting Complex in Sparta, IL, on July 23 and 24. It drew nearly 1,200 youngsters from 27 states.
Team Henges’ Orange squad claimed the top honor in the Intermediate Advanced Division made up of seventh and eighth graders. They shot a total of 947 targets out of 1,000.
The Red squad from Team Henges also turned in a noteworthy performance. They ended with a tie for third place in the Varsity Division resulting in an exciting shoot-off against a squad from Alabama. The “last-man-standing” rule left Benjamin Tihen of Team Henges claiming the title for his teammates. Team Henges Red shot their squad best ever score hitting 976 targets out of 1,000.
This marked the fourth year that Team Henges has competed in the SCTP program.
An additional award, Second Place Junior Varsity Division in trap, was secured by another Conservation Department-sponsored team, the Gateway Claybusters from the Department’s August A. Busch Memorial Shooting Range.
SCTP is sponsored by the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation, an educational-athletic organization. According to the organization’s mission statement, their goal is to “introduce school-age youths to the clay target sports and to facilitate their continued involvement by providing, promoting, and perpetuating opportunities to safely and enjoyably participate and compete in a high-quality, team-based sport led by trained adult coaches focused on enhancing the personal growth and development of their athletes.”