By Jacob Mahaffey
When someone thinks of fall sports there are many that come to mind, football, volleyball, cross country, and soccer.
However, for those who like to load up and take aim, there is another option, trap shooting.
Trapshooting is taking off like a bullet from a gun as a new recent addition to recreational sports activities for youth in the Sugarcreek area. Thanks to volunteers like Tim LeMay and Valley View Community Church, area youth, ages fifth grade through twelfth grade, and now, even college-age, can now join the Valley View Orange Crushers.
The team was started by Coach LeMay. “My daughter wanted to get into shooting sports,” he explained. “We went to the Deer and Turkey Expo, a few years ago, and the SCTP (Scholastic Clay Target Program) was there trying to get teams.”
After learning that Cambridge was the closest team, LeMay approached Garaway but found there was no interest. After thinking about it long and hard, LeMay approached his church, Valley View. “It could be a good ministry to get started,” he recalled telling them. “It’s not really preaching the Word a lot, maybe here and there, but you can coach kids and not curse and yell. You can show them how you’re living.”
Once Valley View signed on as a sponsor, the Orange Crushers were born. LeMay went out and purchased some club guns so that any kid could come and shoot. “We wanted to make it easy for kids,” he explained.
Trap shooting isn’t a main-stream school-age sport. “Not everybody plays typical sports,” LeMay said. “We wanted to show that there are other sports out there to play.”
It’s an idea that has taken off. At their inception last fall there were four students who signed up. By January they had grown to seven kids. However, in March they dropped down to three. That drop didn’t last long though. “Right after that, almost overnight, we grew to 17,” LeMay said. “We were pleasantly surprised.”
This year they are estimating up to 30 kids may take aim.
The team, which has two coaches, LeMay, and Kevin Troyer, started out from 5th to 12th grade. This year though they are starting into collegiate level. “We had one player who was in 12th grade last year,” LeMay said. “This year we are opening up to the collegiate level, so he can continue.”
The collegiate shooter is Justin Troyer. “I love shooting, my dad’s done it for years,” Troyer said. “Its cool that they brought something for the kids that want to learn how to shoot and to go and compete.”
One thing that Troyer enjoys is that appeal that trapshooting has for some kids. “Its something for kids that are more for shooting than playing other sports,” he said.
There are two types of shoots for the team. “There’s a virtual series that we do,” LeMay explained. “We shoot from our home club and then score it online against teams across the nation.” The second type of competition takes place in person. “Then there are regionals, states, and nationals,” LeMay said. “For the last two years and for the next three they [the nationals] are going to be at the Cardinal Center in Columbus.” Last year at nationals there were 26 states represented with over 3,000 kids competing.
The typical season for the Orange Crushers lasts from September 1 to August 30. This year the Crushers will be kicking off their season on October 13 with sign-ups being held at the Sugarcreek Sportsman’s Club. The club is also the team’s home club where they practice and shoot for virtual competition. Practices are held one to two times a month in the fall. In March they begin practicing once a week as they get ready for the state, regional, and national competitions.
While the team already has two coaches they are always looking for volunteers. “We are always looking for more help,” LeMay said. “If you want to keep score or just push a button to release the trap. Even if you’re not a shooter or just want to come up and help some kids. We’re looking for volunteers.”
If you know of a child interested in shooting sign-ups will be October 13 at the Sugarcreek Sportsman’s Club. If you have any questions or want more information you can contact Tim LeMay at 330-204-3804.
This story originally appeared in the September 19, 2018 edition of The Budget. For more news, pick up a copy of this week’s edition available Wednesdays at area retailers. Better yet, subscribe and the news will be delivered to you each week. For more information, call us at 330-852-4634.