Team hits with its best shot
Published: Thursday, September 12, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 16, 2013 16:09
Only two years old, the ASU Shooting Sports Club has competed and excelled in tournaments across the country.
The club took third place at the National Collegiate Championship in San Antonio, Texas in March, senior runner-up at the State Championship in Lonoke in June, and third at the Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA) Championship in Sparta, Ill., in August, said James Wray, ASU Shooting Sports Club president and senior civil engineering major of Payneway.
The team competes with other colleges from all over the country in a variety of shotgun and clay pigeon disciplines and has brought home 12 trophies since January.
“The team is doing great, but needs additional support from ASU as well as the community,” said Gauri-Shankar Guha, associate professor of economics and finance and the shooting club’s faculty adviser. Guha is also the team’s new head coach.
To keep up with the club’s growing notoriety, it needs a range where ASU can hold its own invitational tournaments. The group has potential sponsors waiting to build a new trap house as soon as it can acquire approximately 10 acres of land.
“We really need our own facility,” Guha said.
Many organizations like the Skeet Shooting Federation, Remington, the Game and Fish Commission and the National Rifle Association are willing to give the team support. The NRA told the team if they were able to get their own land, they would provide targets for 10 shooters for one year.
ASU is also gaining more exposure through the team.
“In the San Antonio tournament, we were so visible because we have very attractive uniforms and these boys are very extroverted. They were talking with everyone. From Berkeley to Harvard, everyone knows Arkansas State,” Guha said.
The team did so well and was so accepted that Guha was awarded a full-ride scholarship to the US Olympic Training Center’s Coach’s College in Colorado Springs, Colo.
After top-notch performances in every competition they entered, Midway USA Foundation established an endowment account for the club and matches every dollar raised. The team can use a percentage of the fund annually without affecting the balance of it. This account will grow and help the team grow with it.
Matthew Hammett, a freshman nursing major, of Jonesboro, competes in all three of the disciplines of trap shooting: singles, doubles and handicap.
“The guys on the team are a diverse set of people and each of them brings a different set of skills to the table,” Hammet said. “I am honored to be shooting alongside some of the best shooters in the country.”
The team has 12 members with two, five-person teams that travel and compete, Wray said.
The team is a registered student organization, but not yet a formal club sport. Once the team is a registered club sport, more support from the university should be available.
The club accepts new members by referral from the president or vice president only. Students interested in joining the club can contact Wray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next competition will be Sept. 14 at the Blue Rock Sportsman’s Club in Little Rock.
Information about the Midway USA Foundation and other endowments can be found at http://www.midwayusafoundation.org.
For results of past tournaments visit http://www.acui.org/claytargets/ and http://www.shootata.com/aim/aim4ata.html.