Strickland named state’s top shooter; Morgan Academy competes in Clay Shooting State Tournament

Published 4:23 pm Thursday, May 18, 2023

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Morgan Academy’s Clay Shooting Team has only been around for two years but is already making a name for itself in competition. In the State Clay Shooting Competition the Senator’s Gage Strickland had one of his best days scoring a 95 out of 100 giving him one of the top shooters awards. Strickland competed against 87 other shooters in route to getting the top shooter award. Morgan Academy head coach Nick Switzer said that Strickland had himself a special day that afternoon and worked hard to get the score he did.

“The honor he got was called HOA which means Highest overall,” Switzer said. “I couldn’t be more proud. I can’t be more proud of him. He has so much talent and I can’t wait to see where he goes.”

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The Senators as a team did not place but coach Switzer was proud of the effort his young team put together and he sees potential for this team to be something special as it grows down the road.

“Most of my kids are between eighth ninth graders. There is nothing like direct competition. For the kids to come to terms with struggling with competing,” Switzer said. “You may have all the skills in the world but to be able to compete against others and keep your emotions in check is different when you compete.

The Senators are a young team with a lot of potential. Coach Switzer and the other coaches at the end of the year held an end-of-the-year awards ceremony and one of the shooters was named most improved over the last year.

“The most improved player was Harper Strickland she is one of my female shooters  82 out of 100 which was a tie for two out of the team. According to her dad, she had never been able to shoot a dove flying by herself,” Switzer said. “Now she can go out. I’m excited to see more participation from females because clay shooting truly is a co-ed sport. I’m excited to see more females participating in this sport down the road.”

The sport is young at Morgan Academy and they are wanting to grow and be able to expand their competitions and the opportunities for the athletes.

“Once we get everyone certified in coaching we will enter into the  SCTP (Scholastic Clay Target Program)  once we get into that we can shoot at a national level,” Switzer said. “That gives the kids the chance to get into scholarships. There are a lot of scholarships out there for those non-traditional sports like clay shooting and fishing.” 

To Switzer, Clay shooting is not just a sport this is something that can be used for life.

I consider this a lifetime sport,” Switzer said. “Football you can only play so long. This is a skill that they can use for the rest of their life for the rest of their life.”