Hundreds of middle and high school students are preparing for regional and state competitions this month in their shooting sports program. In Texarkana, the Arkansas High School Razorbacks trap team will advance 60 students to the regional competition in Lonoke, Ark. Head coach John Wilson started the team six years ago. The 68-year-old is a volunteer and he said the sport is run by people just like him. He said grants keep the program going.
“First few years, we’d sign up 125 to 150 students, but this isn’t a cheap sport and our school doesn’t sponsor it," Wilson said. "We get all of our money from grants from the NRA, educational foundations and we hold fundraisers.”
Kyle Peterson, 18, of Minden, La., will compete in the state 4-H tournament in Lake Charles later this month. He’s been competing since fourth grade, and his father is the volunteer shotgun instructor. Peterson said the sport keeps him and hundreds of other teens busy and focused on their sport.
“It’s a way to keep us out of trouble. Like a buddy of mine said, An idle mind will get you in trouble. This is a good thing for us. It’s a fun sport," Peterson said, during a recent skeet practice.
Wilson said more than 6,000 kids in Arkansas participate in the shooting sports program.