Thursday, December 13, 2012
Allen has a new youth shotgun club
The guns are never shot on campus, says a representative.
Allen Now there's a new way to have a blast at Allen High School.
AHS announced last week that it will field a shooting club. Allen joins Argyle, Grapevine, Southlake Carroll, and Flower Mound Marcus in creating a five-team league of area high schools that will compete in Olympic-style shooting events. Trap, skeet, and sporting clays will be the disciplines of the competition.
The Allen Shooting Club is a shotgun shooting club that will practice and compete at Elm Fork Range in Irving. The club will be under the auspices of the Texas Youth Target Foundation, a non-profit group essentially acting as the University Interscholastic League of Texas high school shooting teams. The TYTF was created to help youth become involved in shooting sports while developing rules and competitions.
The Allen club is open to any interested AHS student, regardless of experience and proficiency, said AHS coach Jason Anderson.
"We had about 30 of our students go out [to the range]," Anderson said. "A lot of them had never shot a gun. They just wanted to go out and try it to see if they would like it. They shot 25 rounds at targets and loved it."
Senior Kevin Shaw said there are a number of benefits to joining the club.
"It's a sport that gives you focus. You have to be aware of your surroundings. And, I think it's a great thing for students who aren't as athletic," Shaw said. "It's a great way to get into a team and make friends.
"This is a sport that's all over the world and there are so many different things about it that you can't get bored with it. I [also] find it relaxing."
Because of the inherit dangers surrounding firearms and school environments, Anderson said the club is taking precautions to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
"We never shoot any guns on campus," Anderson said. "We never bring any guns on campus. We will have practices on campus, but it will be in a classroom setting, going over rules and stuff like that. But no guns here."
In addition to the enjoyment aspect of participating as a member of the Allen Shooting Club, there are also financial benefits. Last year, Texas A&M University had six full scholarships to its shooting team that were not awarded because of a lack of participation. Freshman Jarod Warren said that is definitely part of the allure.
"I wanted to join because ... it would give me a better chance to get a scholarship for college," Warren said.
Anderson echoed that sentiment. "We need more kids to give these scholarships to." He continued by listing his expectations.
"Not only are [the students] learning a lot about our [American] heritage and safety and college scholarships, but it's another great way to compete and win a state championship; maybe even a national championship."
Shaw and Warren share in the pride of Allen being one of the first schools in the area to have a shooting team.
"We get to get everything started up," Shaw began. "Set an example for everyone else, and get everyone younger than us excited to join the sport and eventually turn this sport into a pretty big thing."
"It gives us an advantage," Warren said. "It gives us another chance for the school to show that we're the best."
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