edited.Trap&Skeet_CoachPfaff_RebeccaKanaskieedited.Trap&Skeet_JakeDiPaula_RebeccaKanaskie2edited.Trap&Skeet_RebeccaKanaskieBy Katy Shenk

Student Life Editor

This past Sunday, March 3, Washington College’s Trap and Skeet team invited students and faculty members to try their hand and eye at shotgun sports at the Sudlersville Skeet Club.

Participants shot under the guidance of coaches and alongside experienced team members with shotguns provided by the school. These Community Day activities have been offered for several years.

“Community Day is designed to keep the club side of trap and skeet alive and well. It also provides students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to learn about and participate in the shotgun sports,” said Associate Head Coach Aaron Amick, assistant professor of chemistry and department chair.

Trap and skeet are two disciplines of clay target shooting sports. In trap, targets are launched away from the shooter, whereas in skeet, two targets are launched simultaneously and the shooter aims for their intersection.

Both use orange clay disks commonly referred to as pigeons thrown from a known location and shot at with a shotgun, according to Head Coach Doug Pfaff, class of 2010.

“It is a sport that requires some hand-eye coordination however it is safe and fun for all ages and experience levels,” Pfaff said.

Pfaff has been assisting with the Trap and Skeet Team since his graduation from WC, and was instrumental in helping the club become recognized as a varsity sport.

“The sport of clay target shooting allows for an escape from the daily grind. Most people find something relaxing about shooting clay targets as it requires mental focus where you can’t worry about the things that might normally be bothering you. The sport teaches mental and physical discipline, camaraderie, and respect of the sport as well as those who participate,” he said.

Pfaff and the rest of the team hope to share their passion for clay target sports by running the Community Day program, which allows different members of the WC community to participate without having to commit to being a member of the team.

“The community day program came out of a desire to provide an opportunity for those who didn’t have the time or desire to come every week as a club/team member but still wanted the experience,” Pfaff said.

Safety is a priority when welcoming newcomers to the range. Community Day began with a firearm safety and training session led by Pfaff, Amick, and Assistant Coach Jessie Downey for those who had never fired a shotgun.

Although the training is a brief introduction to the sport, Pfaff recalled that some team members who now compete at the national stage got their start by coming to previous Community Days.

“Safety, education, and fun are the goals that we have every time we run the community day program. I want everyone to be able to take something away from the program and each person’s experience to be positive,” Pfaff said.

Team member sophomore Charlie Wittich attended the event and shared how he first connected with WC Trap and Skeet. 

“I met with Doug and then I went out to one of their shoots, shot a round of skeet, liked what I saw, and stuck around,” he said. 

Sophomore Ben Barton, an avid hunter, valued the opportunity to refine his technique.

“It seemed like a good opportunity to get a few tips on how to improve my shooting and watch my friends try the sport for the first time,” he said. 

In addition to introducing the community to trap and skeet, Community Day benefits the WC team by promoting their presence on campus.

“Since our sport takes place off campus we are not as viable as walking past the stadium and seeing lacrosse, soccer, or field hockey practicing. Our hope is to continue growing this program and bringing people to us so that more people on campus get to better understanding our sport,” Pfaff said.

The Elm

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