Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Clay takes second in trap at national tournament


November 7, 2019

Sports shooting competitor and Haines High School senior Cade Clay won a second-place medal in men's trap shooting at the Upper Midwest ACUI Regional Championship in Grand Island, Nebraska last weekend.

Last year he placed seventh in the same tournament. Clay is a member of AlaskaYESS, a state shooting team that competes across the country at regional tournaments. He was one of five members of the team whose overall score helped it win the regional championship.

"He had a phenomenal weekend," AlaskaYESS head coach Lindy Moss said. "This is an elite team. The students must have a 3.0 grade point average and most important, they must be excellent leaders and ambassadors for the program and Cade definitely fits that category."

Clay competed against more than 35 shooters from five regional high school teams from Minnesota, Kansas and Nebraska. He shot 94 of 100 targets to earn the second-place finish. The week before at a competition in Juneau with the Haines Hot Shots, he shot 93 out of 100. Trap shooting, which occurs over four separate rounds where the competitors take aim at 25 targets, allows time for his nerves to take over, Clay said.

Clay missed two during the first round, one in the second and third rounds, and two in the last round.

"After the first 50 I had to go over to my coach and calm down a little bit," Clay said. "I realize that I tend to like the pressure a little more than being relaxed. I can tend to get too relaxed," Clay said. "If I combine it just right, I can hit a lot more than what I usually do."

Moss said 19 kids who competed on the Alaska shooting team are now attending college with the help of scholarships from college shooting teams.

Clay said he's eyeing two universities in Nebraska where such a scholarship will help pay his way.

He'll compete at another tournament in Georgia in February.

Clay has been competitively shooting with the Haines Hot Shots since it began when he was in fifth grade. "I like the fact that it's an individual, yet also a team sport," Clay said. "If I mess up, it's on me and I know what I have to do to fix it."


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