Talon News - Good Local News

By Patricia Stuart


Teen Shotgun Team Wins State


Aztec High School Shotgun Team. L-R Top :. Asst. Coach Rob McCartney. Barrett Smith, Dalton Madewell, Robbie McCartney, Eli Gallegos, Brooklyn Shaw, Loree Foster, Admin. Misty Eavenson Bottom L-R: Brayden Munkres, Garret Dickens -PHOTO-Patricia Stuart-TALON

By Patricia Stuart, TALON

The AHS Shotgun Team won the State Championship held in Albuquerque, NM April 20 and 29th of this year. This was the second consecutive year for this team to take State. Sixteen student members o the team also ranked tops in overal season scores. In the Varsity Male Division, Lane Klohn ranked number one, Garrett Dickens placed 2nd and Jayden Shaw placed 4th. For the Junior Varsity Male Division, Adler Smith ranked 4th. For the Junior Male Division, Robbie McCartney took 1st Place, Colton Meyer placed 2nd and Brayden Munkres followed by one point, coming in 3rd. Brooklyn Shaw won 1st Place in the Junior Lady Division also soaring twelve points higher than all Lady Division participants in the State Championship. The State Championship winners: Varsity Male- 1st Place: Garrett Dickens, 2nd Place: Lane Klohn, 4th Place Jayden Shaw. Junior Male: 1st Place: Brayden Munkres, 2nd Place: Robbie McCartney, 4th Place: Colton Mayer, Junior Lady: 1st Place: Brooklyn Shaw, 2nd Place: Loree Foster. Congratulations AHS Shotgun Team on both teamwork and individual effort!

The Aztec High School team was formed in 2016 by Misty Eavenson and son, Rory Eavenson. At present the are eight teams throughout the state of New Mexico consisting of 105 active student members. The team is part of the New Mexico High School Target Association and the Scholastic Clay Target Program.

Coach Roary Eavenson says,"We call it our 'Shotgun Family'...It's not about winning. I'm not here to build a champion, I'm here to build a program." He relates that there are a lot of kids who are either not good at sports or aren't interested in basketball, football and the like. There are kids with disabilities who can't play those kind of sports but they can get involved with this kind of team.This mix of public school, alternative school and home school students learn a tremendous amount about gun safety first and foremost. According to Coach Eavenson and Coach McCartney, they see more parent involvement with this sport than most other school sports. Also, it's not only about guns. Work ethics are taught through helping with program events, and not leaving discarded shell casings teaches responsibility to these youths. In addition, these clay shooting events are encompassed with BBQ's, dances or even a night out bowling. These kids are not just competitors, they become friends embracing true sportsmanship.

One father explained, "It takes a lot of money and time, but we're sure proud of them!" as the other three fathers enthusiastically nodded in agreement.

What about keeping our kids safe with all of these school shootings around the country? The mindset of Misty Eavenson, Rory Eavenson and Coach Rob McCartney is that education about guns including the safe use and respect for them is key in making a major difference in our community. One example is driving a car. If you don't know how to operate it in a safe manner and understand the rules that must be followed when in and around cars, they can be extremely dangerous. If we use them, we learn how to use them safely and responsibly. We can do the same with guns. In that responsibility, the Eavenson's believe "tip offs" from family, friends and citizens should be taken more seriously. Pushing to enforce current gun laws and dealing with bullying in a better way are solutions. Also they believe discipline encompassing dignity at home and in schools is paramount.

Before every practice and event, a safety meeting is required. Each student must recite a different rule dealing with safety. Throughout practices and tournaments, students must follow the strict safety rules and etiquette. If there is any safety violation, depending on the seriousness of the violation, a student may be given a verbal warning or expelled from the team. Coach Eavenson stated that to be a member, students must display good attitudes, as this is also a matter of safety. In addition, students must complete the NM Department of Game and Fish Hunter's Safety Course and other requirements to be part of the New Mexico High School Clay Target Association and the Scholastic Clay Target Program. All coaches are required to have background checks, they must also be NRA Certified.

The AHS Shotgun Team would like to see other high schools in San Juan County form teams. At present, students from other high schools and middle schools are welcome to join the Aztec Team. A Fundraiser Shoot will be held on August 4th, 2018 at the San Juan Wildlife Federation Shooting Range. For more information email Misty Eavenson at [email protected]


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