Rams take aim

Rams Clay Target Team places sixth at competition

By Robyn Simkins
On February 23, 2018

Contributed Photo
Jacob Bird takes a shot at a clay target during the Rams Clay Target Team competition at the National Shooting Complex.

The Rams Clay Target Team (RCCT) recently took 14 students to compete in the ACUI Lower Midwest Conference Championship Feb. 10-11 in San Antonio.

The competitions require a 12-gauge shotgun and a clay target thrown into the air, though certain events are set up differently.

The competition is judged by a collection of individual scores, individual high overall scores and team scores after participating in all events; as a team, the RCCT achieved 6th place out of 10 colleges.

"Coming out ahead of such large schools such as OSU or the University of Texas is always a good thing," Kurtis Neal, the team’s academic advisor, said.

The top 5 shooters representing ASU were Colton Cmerek, Coleman Pittillo, Braden Williams, Jacob Bird and Taylor Cleaveland.

At the end of the competition, members are awarded with trophies and chances to win endowment money that can help with competition costs.

The RCCT will compete next in the ACUI Collegiate National Championship in San Antonio from March 26-31. This competition is expected to include over 1,200 shooters from all over the United States.

The final lineup of this particular competition was as follows:

1. Fort Hays State University – 1462

2. Schreiner University – 1433

3. Texas A&M – 1411

4. Texas A&M Corpus – 1396

5. Connors State College – 1366

6. Angelo State University – 1287

7. Oklahoma State University – 1275

8. Trinity University – 1273

9. University of the Incarnate Word – 1272

10. University of Texas – 1269

"I feel that the skills and mentality developed in learning and competing in the clay target sports are definitely good attributes to have in life." Neal said. "These games are both individual and team based at this level and the drive and tenacity needed to be successful are certainly great things to learn and take into a career or into the classroom."

The Rams Clay Target Team was created in the Fall of 2015 for students interested in clay target sports. Clay target sports are offered heard of as Skeet shooting, but other types include trap and sporting clays. As of right now, the team consists of 35 student members and two volunteer coaches.

The team practices every Thursday and Sunday at the San Angelo Claybird Association. Club dues are $50 a year and students are responsible for some practice and competition costs. Grants and outside funds are pursued to help offset the costs of the club and competitions.

Students must be enrolled and in good standing with their schools, they must be enrolled in at least 9 hours and have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher in order to compete at the collegiate level.

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