Sharp trap shooting |

Sharp trap shooting

Sun Staff reports
Provided to the SunStephen Zissimos, a graduating eighth-grader from Alder Creek Middle School, aims and fires at a clay target during the Nevada Trap State Championships in Elko, Nev., on Saturday. Zissimos broke 189 of 200 clay targets to win his division.

Stephen Zissimos has a knack for blasting clay pigeons from the sky.

This past Saturday the 14-year-old Truckee resident proved it to his competition at the Nevada Trap State Championships in Elko, Nev.

Competing in the ‘A’ Class of the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) Intermediate entry division, Zissimos shot and broke 189 of the required 200 clay targets (94.5 percent) to win the singles title. The next-best tally was 187 out of 200.

The feat earned Zissimos a chance to compete in the SCTP National Championships in Sparta, Ill., in August. But he plans to skip it and compete in more local contests.

Zissimos also anchored the third place Intermediate/Advanced team event with fellow shooters John Lee Jr., Dillon Winkleman, Adam Morgan and Brandon Callahan of the Reno Silver State Claybreakers.

The state championship event, which included shooters grades 12 and younger, was held at the Spring Creek Trap and Skeet Club and featured competitors from throughout Nevada. It was the first-ever competition for Zissimos, a graduating eighth-grader from Alder Creek Middle School who has been shooting for a little more than a year.

Zissimos is a quick learner, as he had never picked up a gun before joining the Reno Silver State Claybreakers, based at Sage Hill Clay Sports near Damonte Ranch High School. When not practicing with his Claybreakers team, he shoots with his father, Anthony, at the range near Boca Reservoir.

Trap shooting is one of the three major forms of competitive clay pigeon shooting. The others are skeet shooting and sporting clays. Trap is a clay-target competition, also an Olympic sport, named for the device that throws targets into the air. Targets are thrown at random angles at five different shooting stations. One round consists of 25 targets per shooter.

Skeet is another Olympic sport in which targets are thrown from two trap houses. Shooters move in a semi-circle between the two houses. Depending on station, targets are singles or doubles. Each round consists of 25 targets.

Sporting clays is designed to simulate field shooting. Courses are set in a natural surrounding, much like golf, with shooters moving from station to station. Targets are typically presented in pairs, consisting of rounds with 50 or 100 targets.

SCTP is a program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, managed in partnership with the national governing bodies for shooting sports: USA Shooting, Amateur Trapshooting Association, National Skeet Shooting Association and National Sporting Clays Association. After experiencing considerable growth over the past eight years, SCTP is considered “the Little League of shooting sports.” Some 8,000 to 9,000 students from more than 45 states are expected to compete this year.

– Info from The Shooting Wire


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