Target club coming to Wapak High School

WAPAKONETA — A new club for outdoor sporting enthusiasts is coming to Wapakoneta High School.

The high school will soon become the 45th school in Ohio to join the Clay Target League, an outdoor sporting league for target shooters.

The co-ed club is open to any Wapakoneta student in grades 8-12, no prior experience necessary.

Members take turns shooting clay targets at the Moulton Gun Club in Wapakoneta, where the team will compete virtually with other teams across Ohio for the chance to qualify for the state tournament in Columbus.

Junior Mason Becker, an avid hunter since childhood, pitched the idea of bringing a target club to Wapakoneta after watching a news segment about Clay Target League teams competing out West.

“I said, ‘That’s a pretty neat idea. We should bring that around here,’” Becker said.

Roughly 30 students attended an informational meeting organized last school year to gauge interest for a target club. The Wapakoneta school board authorized the club in May, the first step toward joining the Clay Target League.

Athletes will pay an initial $40 fee for insurance.

Coach Jared Selover said the club is seeking sponsors to offset the full cost of participation, which will likely range from $300 to $350 for the fall season excluding the cost of a gun, though Selover anticipates students may borrow a gun if they do not already own one.

Students must complete a safety course to join, which covers basics like how to safely clean and store a gun.

“You treat every gun as if it’s loaded,” Selover said, adding that the club promotes “safety over speed.”

The Clay Target League is the “fast-growing and safest sport right now,” the coach said. Some 200,000 athletes across the U.S. have joined the league, but no injuries or incidents have been reported yet, Selover said.

The club is an alternative to traditional sporting leagues for students like Becker, who spends his freetime hunting, fishing and trapping.

Becker’s father, assistant coach K.C. Becker, always encouraged him to join a team sport, but Becker never showed much interest in traditional sports like football or baseball because he was always hunting.

“This was right up Mason’s alley to play target league,” K.C. Becker said.