Popularity of area school shooting teams is on target

May 31, 2019 07:51 PM

KINGSBURY - When Matt Redmond isn't playing baseball or basketball or golf, he's shooting. A junior at Whitehall High School, Redmond is part of the trap shoot team.

Whitehall is one of 14 schools in the area to start teams recently.


"So many people in our town and other towns, we all love shooting and being outdoors, so it just fit in great," said Redmond.

It claims to be the fastest growing high school sport in the country.

"It allows kids that don't participate in those primary sports in school to have an opportunity to compete in a different level," said Keith Redmond, the Whitehall coach and athletic director, who is also Matt's father. "It's just growing bigger and bigger each year, and we're getting more and more kids each year."

Each of the athletes is certified in firearms safety before they can shoot the shotguns. The National Target Shooting Association says there have been no injuries, making it the safest sport in the country.

"We're so respectful with guns," said the younger Redmond.

For those who think trap shooting is just for boys, think again.

Faith Bell, a senior at Truthville Christian Academy, is the third-ranked girl in the state.

She laughs when people say, "'You're a girl. Girls don't shoot.' And I'm like, 'They do. Definitely.'"

Truthville freshman Daniel Ellis says being on the team has changed his life.

"The best part of it is just being out here with my friends, honestly, if I don't shoot, if I don't hit 'em, at least I have my friends there who say that I did a good job."

Around 150 student athletes will compete there Sunday beginning at 9.

Matt Redmond, the top shooter in New York, will participate in the state championship at the end of June in Cicero, vying for a spot in the national tournament.

Until then, he says it'll be, "Practice, practice, practice."


Mark Mulholland

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