Extra Credit: The Arlington Trappers - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Extra Credit: The Arlington Trappers

By Kym Clark - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

ARLINGTON, TN (WMC-TV) - When you talk about high school sports, most of us typically talk about football, basketball, baseball or soccer. Now, you might want to add sharp shooting to that list, particularly the Arlington High School squad.

The Arlington Trappers are working to build up another winning season, which is something they've become accustomed to since the program began four years ago.

"Our first year we came in tied to the second highest scorer in the nation. We've won district every year and won region three of the four years," says the team's coach, Kermit Simons.

And last year was no different for the Arlington High School's Clay Target Shooting team.  Actually, it was better - sweeping first, second and third place the district level before taking first place in the regional championships and finishing second in nationals.

Senior Ethan Kish says, "It's a pretty good feeling. Not a lot of people can say they've gone to the national competitions, let alone took second."

Team members say they practice long hours, shooting hundreds of rounds of ammo to get ready for the competition.

Senior Jarrett Spegule says it all comes down to how well you can perform under pressure.  "That's why we shoot hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of rounds every month and when you finally get into that pressure situation, it's just natural for you." 

As a former Marine officer, Coach Simons knows a thing or two about performing under pressure and excellence. "I think they take away the sense of camradarie, the sense of we have to work together to be successful at anything in life. And we take away the idea of leadership, the idea of stepping up and being counted for what we believe in and what we do. I think it's very important that young people get that. I expect the best, I get the best."

By the way, the National Rifle Association recognizes an amateur shooter who shoots 22-out-of-25 rounds or above as a distinguished shooter, the highest ranking. Coach Simons has 12 shooters on his squad who shoot 22 or above every time they go out. And as for academics, he says most of his students are "B" average or betters.

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