Tag: Colorado Springs

Scholastic Clay Target Program and USA Shooting announce 2019 dates

The SCTP and USA Shooting would like to announce dates for next seasons events including the Junior Olympic Development Camp and the SCTP International National Championships!

The SCTP’s JODC will be held from May 21st – May 27 for interested coaches and from May 23rd – May 27th for chosen athletes! Up to 10 SCTP coaches wanting to learn more about coaching the International disciplines of International Skeet and Bunker Trap along with 24 lucky athletes will be invited to stay at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. and learn from the nation’s top coaches and team USA members! Applications will be available about February 1st.

Also, the dates for the SCTP International National Championships will be held from July 22 – July 27, 2019. July 22/23 will be open training, July 24/25 will be set for International Skeet Competition and July 26/27 will be slated for the Bunker Trap competition with an awards banquet to follow on the evening of the 27th at a location to be determined. The top placing athletes in Trap and Skeet will be chosen to be members of the SCTP’s National Team coached by Terri DeWitt!

“We appreciate all the folks at USA Shooting for working hard with us to get these dates set for the 2019 season” said SCTP National Director, Tom Wondrash. “This will give families, athletes and coaches plenty of time to make plans for attending these great events and learning more about the International disciplines. Opportunities like these are what the SCTP is all about!”

These opportunities are available exclusively to members in good standing with the Scholastic Clay Target Program. If you are interested in becoming a member or starting a team with the SCTP, please contact SCTP National Director, Tom Wondrash to learn more at twondrash@sssfonline.com

SMHS Shooting Team Shines at National Event

Story and photos by Amy G. Partain

COLORADO SPRINGS. When Kaden Westfall’s family left Colorado Springs on July 13 to drive to Ohio for the 2018 Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) and Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) National Championships, he was hoping that he and his fellow St. Mary’s High School teammates would have a good experience at their first nationals. What he wasn’t expecting was for anyone on the team to come home with medals. When the team headed home a few days later, two of the St. Mary’s squads were second in the nation and Westfall was a national champion.

Westfall, a junior at St. Mary’s High School, earned the title of national champion in handicap division of the trap competition after hitting 186 of 200 targets from the 25-yard line. Two of St. Mary’s squads took second place in the junior varsity divisions of both handicap and doubles competitions. The handicap squad was made up of senior Cole Ciccarelli and juniors Mark Rysavy, Matt Raskob, Brian Sorensen, and Westfall — and missed a tie for first place by only one target. Teammates competing on the doubles squad were Ciccarelli, Rysavy, Raskob, junior Andrew Sorensen, and Westfall.

“I had no expectations for nationals,” Westfall said. “We were happy to be there, and while I didn’t think we would win anything, I didn’t share those thoughts with my teammates because anything is possible. We prayed and asked for help to shoot our best, and God was on our side.”

Trap shooting includes different disciplines. Singles are shot 16 yards behind the trap house, with a squad of five shooters each shooting five targets before rotating to the next shooting station until the squad has rotated through all five stations for a total of 25 possible hits. Handicap is similar to singles but is designed so that shooters of different abilities could compete against each other fairly. In handicap the shooters stand farther away, between 17 and 27 yards, from the trap house, depending on their handicap score. Doubles are shot from 16 yard line but two targets are thrown at the same time, one to the left and one to the right. The shooter takes shots, one at each target and is scored based on the number hit. Normally a round is five pairs shot from each of the five shooting positions for a total of 50 targets per round.

At nationals, the St. Mary’s competitive shooting team competed in all of the trap disciplines, skeet and sporting clays. According to Westfall’s mom, Kim, more than 27 states had teams competing at nationals, resulting in more than 2,700 competitors, 7,000 entries in events, and one million targets shot.

While his hunting background may have helped him as he started competitive shooting, Westfall said target shooting is totally different from hunting. Whether it is the product of being the coach’s son or his excelling in the sport, Westfall has become a leader on the competition shooting team. Once he is finished practicing, he goes around helping and encouraging his teammates.

“While there is an individual part to competitive shooting, it is a team sport not just an individual sport,” Westfall said. “Everyone can get better and each of us on the team can give input on how others can work to get better.”

Westfall’s teammates credit him with helping them individually and the team overall improve. Cassidy Sorensen, a junior, said that when the team was just starting last fall, Westfall picked up everything quickly and was able to help his teammates better understand what they needed to do.

“Kaden has helped me improve my shooting performances in many ways,” she said. “Whenever I have a question he almost always has an answer for me, whether it is about how to clean the gun or where my hold points should be. He always has a little tidbit of information that helps me, like how to adjust to the wind blowing from behind or coming right at me.”

Teammate Cole Ciccarelli, a senior, has found participating in competitive shooting very rewarding and also credits Westfall with helping him improve his shooting. Ciccarelli was a member of both St. Mary’s squads who placed second at nationals.

“Kaden helps me not give up when I’ve had a bad day,” Ciccarelli said. “And he helps coach the kids who are struggling.”

Westfall played baseball his freshman year at St. Mary’s, but he hadn’t grown up playing traditional high school sports and struggled to find his place in the high school community. The competitive shooting team has provided that place, not just for Westfall, but for other St. Mary’s students who aren’t drawn to or physically cannot participate in the other sports or activities offered by St. Mary’s.

“Competitive shooting gives a lot of students a chance to excel in a sport when they may not be able to compete in other sports,” Westfall said. “With competitive shooting, everyone gets equal playing time and an equal chance to win.”

Westfall has seen other benefits from competitive shooting as well, including increased confidence, a building up of his faith, and better focus on academics. He said that focusing to hit targets has helped him to literally focus better on his school work.

Registration is now open for the 2018-2019 St. Mary’s competitive shooting team. Westfall said he knows that sometimes it is hard for students to try something new, but hopes that interested students will give it a try. When July 2019 rolls around, Westfall’s expectations for the team and for nationals are going to be higher.

“I expect us to do as well at nationals next year, if not better. We accomplished a lot in our first year, but we can only go up from here,” he said.

(Amy G. Partain is director of communications for St. Mary’s High School)

International Championships Registration Open June 15

The SCTP, in conjunction with USA Shooting, is hosting the Scholastic Clay Target Program’s International Style National Championships on July 22-27, 2018 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Registration by SCTP team coaches opens on Friday, June 15 in the SHOT System.

Here is the event schedule for the competition:

Sunday July 22nd – Open Training for Bunker and Skeet

Monday July 23rd – Open Training for Bunker and Skeet

Tuesday July 24th – I-Skeet Competition 75 Targets

Wednesday July 25th – I-Skeet Competition 50 Targets & Finals (followed by awards)

Thursday July 26th – Bunker Trap 75 Targets

Friday July 27th – Bunker Trap 50 Targets & Finals (followed by awards)

Coaches: The competition registration will open on June 15th for this tournament. You will need to squad your athletes prior to Thursday, July 19th so that they can be placed on random shooting squads for the competition. Walk on’s will generally not be allowed unless there is room available.

Top 3 placing athletes in Men’s and Ladies Bunker Trap as well as top 3 placing athletes in International Skeet (12 total athletes) will earn a spot on the 2019 SCTP National Team. Athletes must meet a minimum qualifying score (MQS) of a 90 x 125 or better in the qualification rounds, regardless of finals placing, in order to be eligible for a National Team spot.

If all athletes in the final have achieved the MQS, then finals placement will determine the top 3 athletes. However, if there are athletes in a discipline final who have not attained the MQS, those athletes will not be eligible for the National Team, regardless of finals placement. At their discretion, The Head Coach and National Director will then fill any open Team slots with eligible athletes.

Due to USA Shooting’s scheduling of the Fall Selection match immediately following the SCTP Nationals, we will not host an awards banquet following this year’s International Nationals to allow athletes time for travel to the Fall Selection. We will award all medals/trophies at the range following the events.

Hope to see you all in Colorado Springs in July!!

A limited block of hotel rooms has been secured and are available for immediate booking at the Hotel Elegante’ – Colorado Springs. Room rates are $99 for a single or a double. Please contact the Hotel Elegante’ directly at 1-719-576-5900 or 1-800-981-4012. When making your reservations, please reference “USA Shooting / SCTP Nationals”, code #2226494. (this includes breakfast) The cutoff date is July 1st but we would not recommend waiting that long as these rooms will fill up fast, especially at these prices! You can upgrade to different rooms at additional price. See additional information for booking your room and about the Hotel Elegante.

Hope to see you all in Colorado Springs in July!!

SCTP National Team Trains in Colorado

The first weekend in May, four of the SCTP’s National Team members – AJ Nomina, Mark Shields, Madeleine Taylor, and Tyler Thiede – met coaches Terri DeWitt and Joe Buffa in Colorado Springs for the third National Team training camp this year.  This camp was intended to coincide with the Colorado State Junior Olympic (JO) Championships in order to offer National Team members an opportunity to compete in a training match.

Not only was this particular camp an opportunity to train on the home range of USA Shooting’s National JO Championships as well as the SCTP’s International National Championships, it gave National Team members a chance to test their training under true match conditions. Coach DeWitt explains, “You can never quite replicate match pressure in a training environment, which is what makes ‘practice’ matches like these so valuable.”

The results speak for themselves. All four SCTP National Team athletes made the finals in their respective events and two of them came away with medals; AJ Nomina took home a Bronze medal in Skeet and Tyler Theide battled his way to the Silver medal in Trap.

National Team (NT) athletes earned their spot via participation and placement in the 2017 Scholastic Clay Target Program International Championships held July 23-29, 2017.

2018 national team members receive ongoing coaching in the international shooting disciplines, a USA Shooting jacket, paid fall selection match fees and ammo, along with an SCTP National Team vest, five cases of NobelSport Quattro Finest International ammunition and more!

The 2019 National Team will be selected based on scores from the 2018 Scholastic Clay Target Program International Championships to be conducted July 22-27 in Colorado Springs.

Colorado Shotgun Coach Class in December

NRA/USAS/CMP Level 1 Shotgun Coach Course
December 2nd & 3rd 2017
Pikes Peak Gun Club
450 S Franceville Coal Mine Rd, Colorado Springs, CO

The Level 1 coach school is two days of shotgun-specific lessons and practical coaching exercises designed to teach the coach candidate the basics of coaching beginning and intermediate shooters.

Registration is available online at the NRA Training website.

For more information download the event information or contact Carlton Nether at 240-460-6457 or CNether@SSSFonline.com or Jennifer Kirchhoefer at 317-258-1311 or JKirchhoefer@SSSFonline.com

USA Shooting 2017 Biennial Coach Conference

USA Shooting is hosting the 2017 Biennial Coach Conference 25-27 August at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Deadline for registration is August 10th. Special rooming rates expire August 4th.

The keynote speaker will be Raymond Prior, the author of the Bullseye Mind. Tentatively USA Shooting is planning on the following topics: sport psychology, fundraising, ammo testing, USAS athlete panel – “what makes a good coach?”, how to coach millennials, a coach panel – “three things to make a successful youth program”, ISSF rules update, media training, USAS Youth Programs update, USAS Coach Academy update, pre-conference shotgun clinic at the USAS Shotgun range, just to name a few.

Click here for tentative conference schedule.

There will be a live Internet broadcast of the Biennial Coach Conference to those who cannot travel to Colorado Springs.

In the registration form you will have a choice of attending the conference in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Training Center (OTC) or register for the Internet broadcast that you can watch from home with no travel expenses. You will be emailed a link to the live broadcast a few days before the start of the conference.

Paid registrations will receive free access to all of the recorded presentations about 30 days after the end of the conference. These presentations will be available online in the USAS Coach Academy.

This year there will be a naming ceremony for the Lones Wigger Legacy Hall and Shooting Center on Friday evening 25 August and the Hall of Fame induction banquet on Saturday evening. A large turnout with VIPs is expected from allied shooting organizations and industry.

If you are working with disabled veterans in a shooting program, you may qualify to have your registration fee paid for by Bob Foth. Contact Bob Foth (bob.foth@usashooting.org) directly to see if you qualify for a free Conference registration.

USA Shooting has blocks of rooms at special rates at the Clarion and Holiday Inn Express. Those special rates and blocked rooms will expire 4 August. Reserve your room on or before 4 August.

Here is the link to the hotel information:  https://www.usashooting.org/library/CoachAcademy/Clarion_Hotel_and_Conference_Center.pdf

Click this link to view the 2015 Coach Conference presentations to give you some idea of the past presentation content at the Biennial Coach Conference.

For more information contact Mike Theimer, USA Shooting Coach Academy Director. Click this link for more information about the USAS Coach Academy.


Register Now for SCTP International-Style National Championships

Registration is now open through the SHOT system for the SCTP National Championships for International Disciplines being held July 27 – August 2 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Here are some things you should know about the event:

  • We have a block of 15 rooms at the Holiday Inn Central Colorado Springs. These rooms are being held from July 26 through August 2 at a rate of $89 for a regular room and $119 for a suite. Both include breakfast. To reserve, call the hotel directly at 719-424-4300 and ask for the Scholastic Clay Target block. The block will be held until July 10, 2015. Any extra rooms will be released after that.
  • We have a limited number of beds available at the Olympic Training Center, available on a first-come, first-served basis. These rooms are $60 per night per person for athletes and coaches. This price includes all meals. Contact Amanda Wondrash at awondrash@sssfonline.com for reservations and dates available. Deadline to reserve space at the OTC is June 15.

    Transportation will NOT be provided for athletes to and from the OTC.

  • We will be shooting the following events and schedule:

    International Skeet – Olympic Doubles – Bunker Trap.

    Cost to participate is $85 per event. The number of athletes accepted will be restricted due to the time constraints, and spots will be filled by first squadded and paid, first in. Practice and training rounds will be available at a cost of $5 per round. Tickets for practice will be available at the range club house.

    July 27 – Possibly some training to follow the JO’s in the afternoon

    July 28 – Official training and practice day, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

    August 2 – Evening – Awards ceremony with food and drinks at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort starting at about 6:00 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend. There will be special guest speakers, door prizes, and lots more. If possible, please let Amanda know if you will be attending the banquet and the number of people. This will ensure we have enough food and drink for all. Athletes and coaches are at no charge, additional people are $10 each. The SCTP will be covering the additional cost of the banquet.

    View / download a complete schedule of events

    The SCTP will have Nobel Sport Intl. ammo available for $60 per case. Sizes available are 7 ½, 8 and 9 ½.

  • Coaches – Please squad your athletes on our website. If you are not sure how to do this, contact us. The athletes will be squadded randomly for shooting purposes, but SCTP will use their squads for determining squad winners for team awards and endowment funds.

    Squad awards will be provided as follows:

    College/College Open Division – 1st and 2nd places
    Senior Division – 1st – 5th places
    Intermediate Division – 1st – 3rd
    Open Division – 1st – 3rd

    Individual awards:

    College – 1st – 3rd
    Senior Division – 1st – 3rd
    Intermediate Division – 1st – 3rd
    Rookie Division – 1st – 3rd

  • All athletes competing in this event must be registered with the SCTP and with USA Shooting.
  • The SCTP, in conjunction with USA Shooting, will be awarding a number of spots on the U.S. Junior National Team as a result of scores shot at this event. Some categories will require a minimum qualifying score (MQS) that will be posted prior to the event.
  • SCTP is looking for certified referees to help with some of the matches. If you have a current certification and are interested in helping, please contact us.
  • If you have questions or comments, feel free to contact a member of the SCTP team:

    Match Director – Tom Wondrash – twondrash@sssfonline.com

    Administrative Coordinator – Amanda Wondrash – awondrash@sssfonline.com

    Administrative Assistant – April Carr – acarr@sssfonline.com

    Director of Development – Scott Moniot – smoniot@sssfonline.com

    Regional Field Representative – Hank Garvey – hhgarvey@gmail.com

    Regional Field Representative – Chet Tuinstra – ctuinstra@sssfonline.com

    Regional Field Representative – Jennifer Kirchhoefer – jkirchhoefer@sssfonline.com

Apply for August Junior Olympic Development Camp by June 20

SCTP is planning its second Junior Olympic Development Camp of the year in conjunction with USA Shooting to help USAS identify SCTP athletes who may have the potential to become USA Shooting team members.

The camp will be held August 12-16 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Both athletes and coaches participate in the Junior Olympic Development Camps. Athletes learn about the international shooting disciplines, engage in a little friendly competition, and enjoy rubbing elbows with Olympic athletes and coaches while living for a few days at the Olympic Training Center. Coaches gain the experience they need to train athletes in the international disciplines.

Deadline to apply for the August camp is June 20.

You’ll find all the JODC information and registration forms here.

Colorado Fall Basics Skeet Shotgun Camp

Shotgunners wanting to improve their skeet shooting skills and gain an introduction to the Olympic low gun mount should reserve a spot in the 2014 Fall 2-day Intermediate Skeet Instructional Camp, October 25-26. The Colorado Bears Junior Shotgun Team will be hosting the camp at the Olympic Shooting Park in Colorado Springs.

Mike Gutirrez and Lloyd Woodhouse will be the instructors.

Make your reservations soon, as participation is limited to 15 participants.

The camp is designed for intermediate through advanced participants wishing to improve their shotgun skills with an emphasis on skeet, with an introduction to the Olympic low gun mount. Participants should be physically capable of handling their shotguns safely and shooting 100 to 200 targets a day without fatigue or discomfort.

Click here for full details and registration information.

SCTP Junior Olympic Development Camp Is a Hit

SCTP has just completed its second Junior Olympic Development Camp of the year at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The camps are held in conjunction with USA Shooting to help USAS identify SCTP athletes who may have the potential to become USA Shooting team members.

Both athletes and coaches participate in the Junior Olympic Development Camps. Athletes learn about the international shooting disciplines, engage in a little friendly competition, and enjoy rubbing elbows with Olympic athletes and coaches while living for a few days at the Olympic Training Center. Coaches gain the experience they need to train athletes in the international disciplines.

Athletes, coaches, and parents have nothing but glowing reviews of the camps:

    “I can’t say enough about how great this last week was. It really did exceed my expectations from every angle. I learned a bunch about my personal coaching style, about how to motivate these kids and how to ‘fill the hopper’ for USA Shooting. I doubt I’d be able to even say the one thing that was best about this week.”

    “Getting to know [the SCTP staff] only reinforced what I knew: that SCTP is a first-class organization with first-class people, and I’m proud to be associated with it. My personal confidence in being able to help these athletes has increased, and I know I’ve got a backup team to help when we hit a wall.”

    “Just wanted to thank you and the rest of the coaches for a great experience for the kids in Colorado Springs. What a fantastic program and opportunity for the kids to get the Olympic training experience, as well as try something new. We really appreciate the work that went into setting up and running this camp. Would not change a thing. Nice to have some new drills to take home to liven up practice.”

    “Your efforts are very much recognized and appreciated. [My son] has not stopped talking about the camp (which is unusual for him as he usually doesn’t say much in general).”

    “Thank you so much for all the work that went into holding the SCTP camp for the kids! I know how much goes into the planning and logistics, so we just wanted to let you know how much it is appreciated. [My son] had a great time and got a lot out of his time with the athletes and coaches at Ft. Carson.”

If you didn’t make it to one of the Junior Olympic Development Camps this year, plan to participate in a camp next year. Dates will be May 21-25 and August 9-16, 2015.

We’ve posted some photos from last week’s camp on our Facebook page.

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