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Tiger competitors eke out narrow victory in state competition in June in Hillsboro

COURTESY PHOTO: DAVID CRAIG - Competitors David Goehner (left) and Wyatt Land flank coach David Craig after the Tigers took first place at the state high school clay target tournament in June.

Wrestling, water polo and … trapshooting? A new championship program has emerged at Newberg High School, with young competitors testing their skills with a shotgun alongside the top teams from around the state last month.

The NHS trapshooting team captured a state title in late June, boasting the second-largest roster in the state with 47 competitors. The 2021 Oregon State High School Clay Target League State Tournament was held at the Hillsboro Trap and Skeet Club.

"Newberg emerged as the 2021 state champions, as well as having the individual state champion, David Goehner, and the runner-up, Wyatt Land," NHS trapshooting coach David Craig said in an email. "Newberg edged out two-time state champion Hermiston by one target. Mountain View from Bend was third, back only five targets. David Goehner became the second athlete in Oregon history to break a perfect 100 out of 100 at the Oregon championships."

More than 800 students at 44 schools throughout the state participated this season in trapshooting, a growing sport that has garnered sponsorship dollars from national entities like Cabela's and the National Rifle Association Foundation. Competitors shoot at clay targets with a shotgun as the targets fly through the air, testing their marksmanship and dexterity.

With more than 38,000 participating athletes in the 2020-21 school year, the USA Clay Target League is the largest youth clay target shooting sport program in the nation, a release from the organization said. The organization offers trap, skeet, sporting clays and five-stand leagues to secondary and postsecondary schools across the country. The league is the only 100% school-approved clay target shooting sport program in America.

After competing at state in June and narrowly emerging victorious, Newberg brings home another state championship in a unique sport. Although not officially sponsored by the school or the OSAA, the team is composed of students from Newberg, Dundee and the surrounding area — all of whom attend NHS.

For more information on the tournament, the league and its history, visit www.or.traptournament.com.


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