Zoar Road Gun Club Youth Trap Team seeking members

Zoar Road Gun Club Youth Trap Team seeking members

Now entering its third year, the Zoar Road Youth Trap Team already has a winning record.


If you’re looking for a different sort of sport for your child, the Zoar Road Gun Club Youth Trap Team is looking for you. An informational meeting is scheduled for Oct. 7 at 6 p.m at the Zoar Road Gun Club.

The team is part of the Scholastic Clay Target Program, which is affiliated with the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation, the official feeder program to USA Shooting and a potential path to the U.S. Olympic Shooting Team.

One of the team’s coaches, Chad Smith, said team members can qualify for the Pan American Games and the Junior Olympic Team.

At the meeting parents and kids will learn how the program works. “This is a co-ed program which welcomes both male and female participants from fourth to 12th grade,” Smith said.

Smith’s wife Michelle will join the coaching staff this year, partly to help girls who feel more comfortable with a female coach.

The club plans to hold a try-it-out day for kids who show an interest at the meeting but are unsure about committing to join.

“We teach gun safety and responsibility, peer encouragement, setting and achieving goals, and just having fun,” Smith said.

Members of the team learn the fundamentals of trap shooting. Practices take place every two weeks from October through July.

“We teach the same principles other sports do,” Smith said. “Our tool is just a shotgun instead of a baseball bat.”

Smith said he started the club because his kids enjoy shooting as much as he does, and the kids don’t participate in other sports. “I know there are other kids out there who aren’t basketball or football players,” he said. “I thought this would be a fun nontraditional sport for those kids.”

A winning record already

Now entering its third year, the Zoar Road Youth Trap Team already has a winning record. In 2020 the intermediate entry-level squad took second place at the state level with Riley Milburn taking home the SCTP men’s championship in the intermediate entry level.

Also in 2020, the rookie squad came in third in the state and fifth at the national event held in Marengo, Ohio.

“We took 16 kids to the national competition,” Smith said. “There were 31 states represented by 1,523 kids in attendance, and that was just in the American Trap discipline.”

Lizzie Smith was first runner-up in the SCTP state shoot and Rookie Ladies Champion at the national event.

“It was exiting to win last year,” Lizzie Smith said. “The team and the coaches helped me prepare, gave me confidence and kept me motivated.”

Lizzie Smith started shooting when she was around 8 years old. Her first gun was a .410 shotgun, the smallest hunting shotgun commonly available.

About the coaches

Chad Smith is an NRA-certified shooting coach. He has been a member of the Zoar Road Gun Club for about eight years.

Joining Chad Smith on the coaching staff as assistant coaches are Jason Owens, Michael Smith and Michelle Smith.

About the Zoar Road Gun Club

The club currently has about 370 members. They hold events like fish fries and Lucky X Shoots several times a year. Chad Smith started trap shooting as a teenager when he worked at the Sugarcreek Sportsman’s Club helping with trap shoots.

The club gives to local charities, the main one being the Friends of the Homeless of Tuscarawas County. Each Christmas, club members purchase gifts for children in homeless families.

The club is located at 5681 Dover-Zoar Road and can be found on Facebook.

Parents who have questions they’d like answered prior to the Oct. 7 meeting are asked to call any of the following for more information, call Chad Smith at 740-502-2923, Michael Smith at 330-243-1133 or Jason Owens at 330-204-3094.

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