Big Lake Clay Breakers looking forward to first season
Glenda Craine, coach for the newly formed Big Lake Clay Breakers shooting club, is pleased with the interest received as the youth group prepares for their first season.
Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program (AYSSP) is open to youth in the 6th through the 12th grades with a junior division (6th-8th grades) and senior division (9th-12th grades). The AYSSP is certified through the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission recognizes that today's youth will be tomorrow's sportsmen. Shooting sports, like many outdoor activities, are great sources of fun and relaxation when practiced safely and responsibly.
The AYSSP is focused on providing a fun, safe environment for participating in shooting sports and reconnecting kids with the joy of being outdoors. The program raises awareness of conservation related sports, promotes safety and responsibility, and raises self-esteem.
"The season begins on Feb. 1 and runs through July 31," Craine said. "This is our first year and we are looking forward to competing."
Unless otherwise specified, trap shooting is the officially sanctioned shooting sport of the AYSSP.
"We are excited about our club but we do need the support from the community," Craine said. "We need a shooting range built, trap machines, supplies, hunting-type vests, and tee shirts."
In addition to being a certified coach, Craine is qualified to teach the state required hunter education course. All youth participating in shooting competition are required to have completed the hunter education course.
Assistant coaches are Mindy Simpson and Susan Winstead.
Like other sports, participants have to enjoy it and be willing to practice to improve. There are competitions between other clubs throughout the state. The Regional tournament is held in May and for teams that qualify, state competition is held in June.
Teams will compete by squads comprised of five participants. Teams may have as many squads as they can fill but participants can only shoot on one squad per competition.
"We have two slots open on the junior team to make a squad for competition," Simpson said.
"The young people learn a lot more than just how to shoot," Craine said. "They learn sportsmanship, responsibility, and much more. Participants can win scholarship money for college. We will be getting a starter support package from the Arkansas Game and Fish. We will have at least five practices before we compete. Again, we appreciate any support we can receive to help get this started for our young people."
The club hopes to meet at least twice a month. There is a lot to learn including range safety, rules and regulations, competition guidelines, and much more.
Anyone interested in more information or wishing to donate to help get supplies for the new club can contact Craine at (870) 623-0799 or Simpson at 549-2886.
Members of the Big Lake Clay Breakers Club are Dalton Jones, Jacob Wright, Andrew Stone, Brett Carter, Chase Sharp, Caitlin Weber, Andrew Vassar, Nicholas Winstead, Tad Johnson, Tyler Harrison, Teyha Simpson, Dalton Pasley, Daniel Wells, Kaden Halfacre, Christopher Craine, J.R. Dehart, Kendra Stone and Wes Lancaster.