The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum

The News of The Blake School Since 1916

The Spectrum


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Trap Shooting Team Shares Goals, Aims for Improvement

Coach focuses on safety, fun, responsibility
submitted by Liam Coley
Alex Won ‘24 and Liam Coley ‘25 at a practice. Currently, the Bears are ranked sixth in their conference.

Trap shooting is seen as a competitive sport including the use of firearms to shoot clay targets, commonly known as clay pigeons. The targets are launched from a machine that is referenced as the “trap,” and are ejected randomly and sporadically flying at different angles and times resembling the flight of a bird. 

The goal of a contestant is to shoot as many clay targets as they can within the limited time whilst employing fast reflexes, accuracy and much more. 

Orla Judalena ‘25, a member of the trap shooting team shares, “There are several memorable moments.  I was ranked 7th or 17th state-wise last year for the female trap shooting rankings (within our group size). Second, I became a trap shooting captain this year and also got a varsity letter, which I was very proud of. Lastly, getting a high score is still very memorable, and I’m sure that lots of people can relate to achieving such a goal.” 

Judalena shares her achievements and proudest moments as a trap shooter. She encourages others to be inspired by the opportunity that comes with the competitive sport. 

Judalena says, “My advice to those interested in trap shooting is that if you want a fun sport that doesn’t take a lot of your time, [to] do trap shooting. We only meet one day per week (Wednesday) for an hour or two to shoot, but you can improve your skills and spend time doing something fun. Also, it’s a great feeling when you get a new score, so try it out!” Judalena is aware that trap shooting should be a sport that is approachable and encourages others to join in.    

Lastly, she shows the time management and the essence of the sport. “Trap shooting requires time and competitive effort, where people work together individually and as a team to hit as many targets as possible; whoever gets the most targets is the highest ranked. Because of this, the competitive nature and urge to improve or be the best give trap shooting the value of being a well-deemed sport or activity.”

Jon Van Bergen, the coach, explains that “Our goals are pretty simple. 1: Teach and instill safety and respect of a firearm.  With a sport like ours this can not be understated.  There is no room for error and athletes need to understand that owning and operating a firearm comes with an incredible responsibility. 2: See improvement in an individual’s average score.  We try to get every athlete’s scores to improve throughout the season.  That looks different for every person on the team. 3: Have fun.”  

Van Bergen continues, “This is a sport that can continue for a lifetime so we hope that members of the team find joy to the point that they will continue joining leagues after they leave Blake.  A few have continued to shoot in college and many join recreational leagues at their local gun clubs.  This will continue to grow and keep the sport strong.” 

Van Bergen’s goals for the team are quite clear and important in the world and the grand scheme of things. 

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