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      Kids get a shot at a different sport

      U pper Peninsula students are getting a shot at a unique sport.

      "I really like being a part of it. We have a lot of fun together, and it's nice to go out there and shoot for a little bit and kind of get your anger out," said team member Melissa Casey, a junior at Gladstone High School.

      Concerned that clay target shooting interest was declining, the National Shooting Sports Foundation developed the Scholastic Clay Target Program ten years ago to get youth involved in the clay target sports in a competitive nature.

      And last year, the U.P. Youth Shotgun Sports Organization adopted the program.

      "We were able to put them through the full season, and for the first time ever, the U.P. was represented at the state tournament down in Mason, Michigan at the Michigan Trap Shooters Association home grounds," said Head Coach Matthew Gay.

      Clay target shooting, commonly called trap shooting, involves five sportsmen lined up in stations, three yards apart. Sixteen yards in front of the sportsmen, a large trap machine shoots out clay disks. The disks may go in any of the five directions, and the sportsmen take turns shooting at the disks.

      "Trap shooting, it's all mental. You just have to be really focused to hit a lot of targets. You just have to get that down," said team member Charlie Zuidma, a sophomore at Escanaba High School.

      And safety is always a priority. Head Coach Matthew Gay says safety is stressed, and statistically, shooting sports are very safe.

      I even took my turn shooting the target and hit it dead on!

      For more information about the program, click here.