Safety top priority for high school shooting sports

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BURLEY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - "Guns and teenagers, that sounds scary," that's the reaction Colleen Parkin said she usually gets when she tells people she coaches a high school trap team.

She started the team at Burley High School after she saw an interest from her students.

"Not everybody is on the football team, and not everybody is on the volleyball team, and there's some kids who just like to shoot," she said.

She said shooting teams are very inclusive.

"Every kids shoots," she said. "No one sits on the bench. Girls and boys both shoot on the same team."

Still, giving a shotgun to a teenager can understandably cause apprehension for parents, which is why the coaches stress safety.

"Range rules are very strict," Parkin said. "You have to have an empty gun, you can't load it until it's your turn to shoot. There's specific etiquette so it's a safe way of letting your kids come and shoot."

Each shoot begins with a safety review and everyone on the range including spectators are required to wear safety glasses and hearing protection.

Students also have to pass written safety tests before they are allowed to compete.

"In fact they're told if you do something dangerous you will be told to leave and never come back," Parkin said.

For this tournament the students shot 50 trap and 50 sporting clays. Then they could compete in the best of the best challenge.

In that challenge students lined up at the first trap post and shot in a last one standing contest.

"If you miss you're out," she said.

Parkin said she loves this sport and she hopes it continues to grow because it's great for the kids.

"They get new friends because you're a team and you cheer for each other," she said.

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