The Crimson White

Skeet team moves forward

Daniel Byars

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The University of Alabama shooting team is aiming for more than just clay pigeons this year.

The team, which competes with other skeet shooting teams from around the world, has championships in its sights.

Tyler Smith was the ?rst place ?nisher in all events at the Junior World championship in San Antonio.

Smith and the rest of the team captured the attention of many world professionals, earning a sponsorship from Blaser Shotguns as well as appearances in Shotgun Magazine and Skeet Review Magazine.

With national attention, the Shotgun Team hopes to not go unnoticed by students on campus interested in being apart of the new sport. Tyler Smith and Jeff Taylor both expected this to happen, as the sport of clay shooting continues to grow.

“The goal is to get people to shoot and get them comfortable to where they can compete,” Taylor said.

The Alabama shooting team will be competing for the ?rst time in the Collegiate National Championship this spring. The Tide has competed as individuals at regional tournaments and the World Championship in San Antonio, but never on the collegiate level.

Excited about collegiate tournaments, the Alabama Shotgun Team has not forgotten about the World Championship. As individuals, they will compete against shooters from across the globe. The World Championship is held from Sept. 30 through Oct. 8. Preparation has already started for the team, with practice on Sundays, Wednesdays, and even Saturdays during football games.

Smith and Taylor are both encouraging new members who haven’t competed not to worry about the tournaments and placing high, but to enjoy the sport and have fun. The team said they are always welcoming newcomers, and can be reached through Taylor’s email at jltaylor12@crimson.ua.edu.

Smith, now a Junior World Champion, came into the sport himself via a random phone call.

“I got into shooting from one phone call on an invite,” Smith said.  “Now I’ve been shooting ever since.”

Smith has become a professional shooter and the Tide’s leader. Veterans on the team still keep their eyes on the ?rst place ?nish, but seem to lose no sleep over results, as every opportunity is just another day to shoot.

Team member Joseph Bruno enjoys the sport, the friends and the ?re power of skeet shooting. With new members and hopes of placing high in the World and Collegiate Championships, the Shotgun team is ?red up.

“I just love to bust the hell out of clays,” Bruno said.

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Skeet team moves forward