SW shooters win national title
The Southwest High School Trap Team added another national title to its impressive resume', winning the National Trapshooting Championships at the World Shooting Complex at Sparta, Ill., on Aug. 8 and 9.
The squad of Charly Phillips, Matt Snyder, Brittany Wright, Tyler Wallace and Alan McNabb shot a cumulative score of 979 out of 1,000 and edged second place Oak Creek from Lincoln, Neb., by four targets.
Coach Mike Vining was ecstatic over his team's performance.
"We put up a great number in the first round on Saturday, shooting a 492 out of 500 and came back in Sunday's final with another solid performance," said Vining. "It's impressive to watch a group of shooters only drop eight targets out of 500. I don't care if its high schoolers or a team of Olympic shooters, that's doing some shooting."
Both Wallace and McNabb shattered 100 straight targets during the tournament.
"We were in the same position last year after the first round, and came out too tense the second day," Vining said. "I really feel that the experience they went through last year helped them keep their focus and composure at this year's tournament. It was theirs to win after the first day, and they stepped up and sealed the deal on Sunday."
Both McNabb and Wallace were in a seven-way tie for individual honors with McNabb eventually earning a third place finish in "A" class in the tense shoot-off.
Also competing in the high school division for individual honors were Dustin Swigart and Ty Hacket. Swigart scored 191 out of 200, drawing praise from his coach.
"That was a terrific score for Dustin, considering that he had to shoot in the heat of the day both days. That was a testimony to his ability and focus," said Vining.
"This was Ty's first year shooting, and I could tell he was a little bit in awe at the magnitude of the complex, and the sheer number of shooters," added Vining. "He shot well above his season average and that will help him get ready to hit the floor running next year."
Southwest's junior high team placed fifth in the class "B" division and 12th overall. The squad of Eric Anderson, Johnathon Wolf, Jerry Tyler, Eithan Still and Kordell McNabb shot a combined 918 out of 1,000.
"I realize that the high school team will get a lot of the attention this year because of their win, but let's not overlook our junior high team," said Coach Vining. "I was very proud of how they shot and could tell a huge difference in where they were compared to what they were shooting back in May. All five shooters from this squad will be ready to step in and fill some shoes when they reach high school."
Southwest's second junior high squad, composed entirely of novice shooters, also performed well at the meet, finishing just out of third place in "D" class by 14 targets. The team of Brent Anderson, Jacob Wolf, Savana Leonhardt, Jesse Hayworth and Rian Hackett exceeded expectations.
Anderson reached the awards podium by finishing second individually in "D" class with a score of 159 out of 200.
Along with the shooters, Assistant Coach Rick Wright drew accolades from Vining.
"I can't say enough about the job Rick Wright has done. He is really good at fine tuning the shooters and getting them mentally ready to compete," said Vining. "He attended a shooting clinic at the Olympic Training facility in Colorado Springs a couple years ago and has brought back some techniques from the big boys that have really paid off."
"I'm so proud of the whole team, as they represented the communities of Washburn and Seligman, Barry County and the State of Missouri in a manner that we should all be proud of," concluded Vining. "I encourage everyone who comes across one of our trap shooters to let them know what an outstanding job they have done, and how proud we are of them."
Besides the championship event sponsored by the Amateur Trapshooting Association and their Youth AIM (Academics, Integrity, Marksmanship) program, Southwest had several shooters competing on Friday, Aug. 7 in the State Team Event. Each state selected an All-Star team of three shooters in each respective gender.
Tyler Wallace and Alan McNabb contributed to the winning Missouri high school entry. Brittany Wright shot for the Missouri high school ladies team, and Eli Bridges represented Southwest on the Missouri junior high team.