April 28, 2011

Memphis FFA Trapshooting Team to Compete for State Championship

The Memphis FFA Trapshooting Team will be competing at the State Trapshoot at Linn Creek, MO on Saturday April 30. Teams all over the state of Missouri will be competing in different areas, from FFA, 4-H, adult leagues, etc. Missouri FFA chapters from across the state are putting together chapter squads to compete at area and district meets and even state competition.

The Memphis FFA Trap team competing at State consists of Captain Bryce Smith, Zach Anderson, Ben Shannan, Logan Payne, Austin Smith, Kala Childress, Andrew Humes, Mike Hudson, Darick Cline and Brice Cowell. Coaches are Ms. Cassie Whitlock and Mr. Dave Koch.

"Shooting teams of high-schools, colleges, and universities provide wonderful opportunities for students to make friends, to develop confidence, and learn discipline and leadership skills, just like other sports," said Whitlock.

FFA participation in trapshooting has grown and includes more than half of the students participating in the Missouri High School Shoot, the largest youth event the MTA organized. This state shoot includes an FFA division and accounts for more than 60 percent of the squads of 805 entries at the 2010 event.

Memphis FFA member and team captain Bryce Smith has participated in FFA trapshooting squad since he was a freshman and believes "practice makes perfect, and if you believe you can do it, you can". Smith started shooting his freshman year and has been on the A Team his sophomore, junior and senior years with an excellent near 23/25 bird average. He also topped the 2010 District Trapshoot as high individual shooter with a score of 97/100 birds.

The interest in FFA trapshooting has continued to grow. Although trapshooting isn't sanctioned by FFA, many participants hope that will change. As for now, trapshooting counts only for a state activity for those students applying for the state FFA degree.

The Memphis FFA Shooting Teams compete from August to October every Saturday across the state with multiple shoots on the same dates and again at the State shoot in April.

"The FFA trap team is very lucky to have such strong support by the parents and community members who lend their time, money and encouragement to this team," said Whitlock. "We wish good luck to the trap team at state."

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