News Obits School/Sports Community Opinion

— Trap shooting will be added to the competitive sports opportunities available to students at Gentry High School, beginning in the new year.

The school board on Monday gave approval by a 6-1 vote to the new sport on a one-year-trial basis to see how it goes and to evaluate the costs of offering the program to Gentry students.

School board members Jim Barnes, Dani Cypert, Ted Dorn, Le’Ann Watanabe, David Williamson and Brenda Willett voted in favor of adding the new sport. Coye Cripps opposed it.

“I think it’s the wrong time to be adding another sport,” Cripps said. “I hate to see us spending money on another sporting event when our teachers are out there waiting for a bonus, even if it does give opportunities to some students who aren’t so athletically inclined,” he said.

Barrett estimated the cost of adding the program would cost the district roughly $3,000 a year, a minimal amount, Barrett said, for adding another sport.

“Relatively speaking,” Barrett said, “it’s a low-cost opportunity. We wouldn’t have even brought it to the board if would have cost the district 10 to 15 thousand dollars to get it started,” he added.

Barrett recommended the district try the program on a oneyear-trial basis.

According to a page in the board packet, the new sport will be coached by David Nelson with no stipend attached. Nelson will also drive the bus to events, so there will be no bus-driver expense.

Targets, ammunition, shell pouches, protective glasses and ear protection would be provided to the school under a grant from the Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Guns will be locked in gun safes off campus and transported to the practices and shooting events. The school will also require student participants to complete a state-approved hunter education course and have a Hunter Education Certificate - a requirement not mandated by the state.

The teams will be required to have a minimum of six practices and meetsbefore they may compete at the regional and state level.

According to the AGFC Web site, “The Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program aims to bring the joy of the outdoors and the rewards of safely learning to shoot to young Arkansans.

“The AYSSP has two divisions: junior and senior. The junior division is for grades 6-8 and the senior division is for grades 9-12.

“Home-schooled students compete in the division they would be in if they were in public school.Home-schooled students 15 or older must compete in the senior division.

“Trap shooting is the sanctioned sport of the AYSSP.

“The season begins February 1 and ends July 31.

“Each AYSSP participant must be on a team. Teams commonly represent schools, 4-H Clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, church youth groups and other organizations, although anyone may form a group. Each team must have a coach 21 or older and must meet these requirements: A team must have at leastfive members; Teams shoot in squads of five members; A team may field as many squads as it can fill; Participants must take part in at least six team practices; Practices must be held on different days; Regional and state competitions do not count as practice; Each participant must shoot at least 25 targets at each practice; Each team must register with the AYSSP state coordinator.

More information on AYSSP is available online at www.agfc .com / education-class / programs /ayssp .aspx.

News, Pages 1 on 12/16/2009

Print Headline: High School adds trap shooting to sports offerings

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