200 shooters have a Field Day at Sugar Grove AmVets

One could say that the popularity of scholastic trap has been “shooting” through the roof as of late.

The Warren County Scholastic Trap League, now in its seventh year, is one of the oldest clubs of its kind in Pennsylvania, and was reportedly the first in the state to be sponsored by the National Rifle Association.

Tuesday’s 2013 Field Day at the Sugar Grove AmVets saw close to 200 shooters from Warren, Youngsville, Eisenhower, Sheffield, and Corry compete alongside one another, which is a much higher number of participants than in years past.

“The sport is growing,” said Youngsville coach Curtis Hollabaugh. “What’s unique about our league is the number of kids that participate. This is one of the largest youth leagues anywhere, and it’s great because everybody participates on the same level.”

All shooters, regardless of skill level and experience, are given the opportunity to shoot in every meet. The top seven scores from each team are counted in the total team score, and the top seven scores of first-year shooters register as the junior varsity score. Corry clinched a repeat championship in recent weeks, then came Tuesday’s Field Day, with individuals competing for classification titles.

For some participants, the sport is nothing new, but for many, like Youngsville sophomores Kassie Hollabaugh and Noah Carlson, the league is a chance to pick up a new activity they might not have tried otherwise.

“This is my second year,” said Carlson. “Without the school league I probably wouldn’t have done it, but I had friends that were doing it, so I decided to try it out.”

While the league is not officially a Warren County School District sport, trapshooters represent their schools at area gun clubs, which also sponsor teams in many ways.

“My dad being the coach had a lot to do with it,” said Kassie, in her second year. “He’s been into it for five or six years, and I eventually picked it up because he was doing it. It really gets everybody involved and it’s a good way to make friends with kids from other schools.”

Like Youngsville, the Sheffield trap club has a mix of experienced shooters and new shooters out for the first time. The Wolverines’ numbers have grown from nine members in its first year of the league to 34 on this season’s roster.

“Most of the new kids didn’t realize how much fun it is,” said Sheffield coach Joe Leichtenberger. “We do have a lot of experienced shooters who continue to shoot in the summer league. Some are competitive, but a lot just enjoy it.”

Results for Field Day will be published when available.