By Gary Brodeur
SPANISH FORK — Youth shooters wrapped up their team shotgun shooting season at Spanish Fork Gun Club on Thursday, June 14, with rounds of shooting games followed by awards presentations.
The Skyline X squad engages in trap, skeet and sporting clays shooting competitions against nine other youth shooting sports groups, Head Coach Jenny McGowan said. The youths, ranging in age from 10 to 20, qualify as junior shooters in nationally sanctioned competition.
The season-ending gathering in June highlights friendships, family fun and scholastic progress.
“The spotlight is on the kids and their achievements,” McGowan said.
The youth-team members drive to Spanish Fork Gun Club from local and surrounding communities, including Pleasant Grove, Saratoga Springs and the Fairview area.
One of the treasured aspects of Skyline X activities is the opportunity it affords youngsters to make new friends, said Nadine White, a parent of two participants and a volunteer coach. The regional competition includes squads from Idaho and Nevada, and the far-flung travel to meet new friends is welcomed by the Skyline X team members, she said.
Shooting sports teach participants responsibility, sportsmanship, self-discipline and safety, according to shooting sports organizations. But White said the No. 1 reason stated for being part of the local squad is, “I make lots of friends.”
A facet of personal growth emphasized by the youth team leaders is academic achievement. While the young members support each other in the sport through peer coaching, they also help one another in scholastics by mentoring each other, Skyline X coaches said.
Brian Beard, the Skyline X co-organizer along with McGowan, said the group was founded four years ago. He is also president of the Utah Scholastic Clay Target Program. He said the 35- to 40-member Skyline X team ranks second statewide in membership after a surging Cache Valley club. Utah boasts 163 competitive youth shooters, Beard said.
“We’re competing in all types of weather,” he said. Skyline X’s competition season runs November to June.
The entire SFGC youth program is volunteer-supported by passionate parents and gun club members. Beard spends about 25 hours a week on the program. He said the squad meets every Thursday during season, alternating between the ranges of the Spanish Fork and Provo gun clubs.
The Spanish Fork Gun Club shotgun-only range is at 2912 S. Spanish Oaks Drive, Spanish Fork, within sight of Spanish Fork Reservoir and its park. The range is open from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.
For more information on the gun club’s Skyline X youth shooting sports squad, visit www.facebook.com/Skylineshooters/ or email [email protected].
Season-end award winners Spanish Fork Gun Club’s Skyline X youth shooting sports team
June 14, 2018
By Brian Beard
Team High Overall for the year:
Novice (6th grade and younger) – Bret Halladay
Junior (7th and 8th grades) – Casey Fitzgerald
Jr. Varsity (9th grade or first year in high school) – Dagen Bringhurst
Varsity (10th to 12th grades) – Kyson Muhlestein
Collegiate (enrolled full-time in college, to age 25) – Hayden Christensen
Academic award winners:
Most Improved award winners:
Outstanding Member: Kyle White