Fire away! Norwin High School trap shooting team competes


BANG!  Connor Noll (middle), who is a teammate of Luke Sandala (right), shoots trap at the Trafford Sportsman’s Club in September.  ““A day at Trafford Gun Club is the best form of stress relief,” Noll said (Credit to Susanna Sandala for taking this photograph).

Noah Carney, Intro To Journalism Contributor

Up!  Two clay pigeons are flying into the air. Boom!  Boom!  You break the targets into pieces with bullets right from your rifle.  The clay pigeons only fly through the air for about two seconds and are about 4 inches wide, flying at about 40 MPH. Intensity, competition, accuracy… why wouldn’t anyone want to do this?

Trap shooting is a sport where five competitors are involved at a time.  One at a time, a competitor will call out a sound such as “up for pull” in order to trigger a box called a trap house to fling two clay pigeon targets into the air.

Next, the competitor, who is about 16 yards away from the trap house, shoots bullets from their rifle at the targets — each hit earns them one point, with a maximum of 25 (for 25 targets).

Luke Sandala is one of many members among the trap shooting team at Norwin High School and is a Pennsylvania State High School Clay Target League and Conference Champion.  Sandala has been shooting for three years and has participated in many trap shooting competitions.

“I have stuck with it because I love going to the competitions,” Sandala said. “It is the best sport that I have ever seen, and I have made some unbreakable bonds.”

I feel that trap shooting gives people a rush of adrenaline unlike any other sport.

— Luke Sandala

The trapshooting team at Norwin High School has existed for four years.  The team usually has about 35 to 45 competitors on the team and competes in various tournaments throughout the season for both singular competitors and teams.

“The national competitions that I have been to are the Pennsylvania State Shoot (national competition for all ATA members), which includes kids and adults (this is not associated with a team), the Pennsylvania High School Clay Target State Shoot (this is open to all Pennsylvania teams and is were the Norwin Trap team would go for their state tournament), and the Cardinal Shoot (held in Ohio, and is open to all ATA members, both kid and adult (not associated with a team),” Sandala said.  “These all occur annually during the summer months and I have attended them for the past 2 years.”

Alongside all the competition involved, Sandala also believes that there are many benefits to trap shooting.

“I think trap shooting has definitely made me a more social person as the people that you meet traveling around the country for these competitions are some of the nicest people you will ever meet, and many of them have great tips or stories to share,” Sandala said. “Trap shooting has also helped me to improve my hand-eye coordination and teaches you proper firearm safety skills,” said Sandala.

Trap shooting can be difficult, but if you are interested in joining the Norwin High School trap shooting team, contact Lt. Col Sandala ([email protected]).

”If they truly love the sport they should stick with it and the more practice the better they will become,” Sandala said for advice to any new trapshooters.