Scott County High School is the 14th largest high school in Kentucky, and has been known as an athletic powerhouse across the state. Last year, the school formed a team to take part in the Kentucky State High School Clay Target League’s spring season
The team is led by a strong group of certified coaches who have worked hard to get the team up and running for their inaugural season last spring. That team – Scott Bruins, Don Putty, Kevin Williams, Phil Cropper, Drew Cropper, and Corey Stamper – worked together to help the students take first place in their conference.
Teacher Scott Bruins took the reins early on at Scott County. As head coach he dove in head first and provided the initial structure for the team. He kept in contact with students and parents, got the team organized, and coordinated efforts with the assistant coaches and volunteers. For the 2016-2017 year Corey Stamper will take the lead while Scott continues to work with the students. Already this year Scott has been working on technique and shooting fundamentals with students once a month at the school.
Since its formation, the team has seen a lot of support from parents, the local shooting range, and the school.
While it was too late at the end of the spring season to get a team photo in, one of the athletes in full trapshooting gear was highlighted in the 2015-2016 Scott County High School Yearbook. Plans are already in place to make sure the team photo will be in the yearbook this year. Along with the yearbook, students will be able letter in the sport, which has been set up as a club activity.
The parents have also been huge supporters. Along with volunteering and helping out where they can, they have gone out of their way to make sure all the students can make it to the team’s home range – the Franklin County Sportsman’s Club – which is as much as an hour away from some students homes. “The Franklin County Sportsman’s Club openly embraced this group,” Assistant Coach Don Putty said. “They’re typically only open one day a week, and their board and membership voted to open up an additional night just for us.”
One of the great things about the League is the opportunity it provides students who have never had the opportunity to trapshoot before – or have never even picked up a firearm before. For Don Putty, that’s one of the best things about coaching, “It’s amazing to see the look on their faces when they break their first target.”
Along with giving a chance to students who have never shot before, the Scott County High School team also provides a chance to take part for some students that – for various reasons – haven’t been able to participate in school activities otherwise. Some students may face personal challenges, some students may not be very extroverted, or simply not interested in typical high school activities. “We know there’s study after study that shows that when kids are involved in an activity, they feel more like they belong. Their grades increase, their attendance increases.” Said Patricia Putty, former Superintendent of Scott County Schools, and wife of assistant coach Don Putty.
One thing that is sure to increase is the team size. The coaches are already planning for a significant increase for the 2017 season. “We’ve already had at least 65 students say their planning on being on the team this year,” Don Putty said.