Fort Bliss Rod and Gun Club: Teaching HS students the proper technique
Sgt. Ida Irby,
24th Press Camp Headquarters:
“Pull! Do you have any shells left?” asked John Doran, principal at Radford School, while coaching his students at the Fort Bliss Rod and Gun Club during trap and skeet recreational shooting Aug. 11. “Lean forward. Pull! Get in front of it. Pull! Good job,” said Dornan.
Thirty students from Radford School attended the first practice for the Radford trap and skeet team. Trap and skeet is a unique sport, and Radford School is the only school that offers this recreational sport in West Texas.
Dornan, a former Marine, has been the administrator of the 102-year-old high school for the past six years. With a principal who is a skilled rifleman and staff members who enjoy hunting, the Radford School staff formed a shooting team almost three months ago. Originally created to provide practice for field shooting, skeet and trap are popular sports that are featured in the Olympics.
“This is a great sport for all my students. We have boys and girls on the team – there are no gender differences, so everyone can participate,” said Doran.
In preparation for this primitive sport, a modern safety class is given to prepare the students for the handling of shotguns, basic rules of shooting clay pigeons and receiving a shooting license.
“This is an honor sport,” said Amparo Behrens, mother of Kendrick, 16, and Kennedy Behrens, 15, both students at Radford School. “This sport will help my children have more security, confidence and discipline.”
During skeet, an old Scandinavian word for shoot, the shooters fire once in a series five rounds with other players.
Kendrick Behrens, a junior, hit 10 birds during skeet shooting.
“In trapping, the bird goes away and up, while in skeeting, the bird goes low and high,” said Kendrick Behrens, as he described the mechanics of the sport.
Kendrick Behrens, junior, said he is glad he has the opportunity to participate in gun sports. But his sister Kennedy, a sophomore, has a different opinion of gun sports.
“I’m glad I hit one,” said Kennedy Behrens after her first time skeet shooting. Like most girls on the team, she held reservations about shooting a gun for the first time. Her mother nicknamed her “Lefty,” for being a left-handed shooter.
“A tradition in Academic Excellence,” is the motto for the Radford School, where last year there was 100 percent college registration after high school graduation. The students on the team will practice twice a month in preparation for a shooting competition.
The Rod and Gun Club offers nine ranges, professional gun shop, trap range, skeet range, banquet facilities and five-stand sporting clays. Registered weapon storage is available for active-duty servicemembers.
To learn more about the Rod and Gun Club, call 568-2983.
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