I borrowed this from the Raton Range.. Pretty Cool..
By Bob Morris, Sports Editor
• Fri, Jul 12, 2013
It seemed only natural to Dave Schutz that shooting sports become a New Mexico Activities Association sanctioned activity.
Schutz, the director of shotgun sports at the NRA Whittington Center, is among the individuals who put together an effort to introduce trap shooting as an NMAA event for the upcoming school year.
“I’ve been involved with 4-H shooting sports for years in Colorado,” Schutz said. “You have athletes who don’t have the strength or speed but have excellent eye to hand. They make excellent shooters.”
The effort first started through conversations between Schutz and former Raton schools Superintendent Dave Willden. Schutz added he has some friends who participated in high school programs sanctioned in other states and “one day, I decided that New Mexico needed that program too.”
Plans are to start with trap shooting, given that there are more trap clubs and ranges in the state than there are for skeet shooters. Schutz said trap shooting will serve as a starting point and “down the road, I’d love to see how it evolves to where it could mimic a collegiate program.”
Schutz said there are 42 schools currently on board with the program, including Raton, Springer, Maxwell, Cimarron, Des Moines and Clayton. The program would be open to boys and girls.
Schutz added the New Mexico State Trap Shoot Association backs the proposal, as does the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and the New Mexico Amateur Trap Association. He said he has talked to NMAA Executive Director Sally Marquez, who has indicated her support. He said plans are to have an initial shoot in October, then work to get the NMAA board of directors behind supporting trap shooting as a sanctioned high school activity.
“This will have to be something, to an extent, that evolves,” Schutz said, adding that not every high school has the money available to support such a program. Schutz said he expects teams will have to raise their own money at first.
But if the program grows, Schutz said it could rival programs in other states. He noted Nebraska had 2,600 participants in its program and Iowa had 2,100, both programs that have been in place for some time. He added Nevada just started such a program and had 300 students at its first state shoot.
He said a positive about the program is that it will mean another activity is available to students — students who might not be interested in other sports currently offered.
“Any time we can get something new into the state and the school system, it gives athletes a reason to stay in school and keep their academics up,” Schutz said. “That’s the basis behind high school activities.”