On April 7 in Fallon, Nevada, the third series shoot for the Lassen Grizzly Claybreakers found the team in pouring rain and 50 mile per hour winds.
Canopies were flying through the parking lot, and the team parents had to drive well under the speed limit just to get the shooters to the event.
“But you wouldn’t have known these conditions even existed by the way these kids shot,” said Claybreaker head coach Phil Giusti.
For the varsity, the top shooters were team captain Wyatt Spalding and Tyler Johnson smoking 97 targets a piece – good enough for a fourth-place finish at the shoot.
Hunter Smith followed with a 95, Wyatt Gould’s 90, Jake McCart’s 90, Gunnar Sherman and Kendahl Loflin with a pair of 87s and Rylee McCart with an 82.
Thus, the varsity team score was 469 out of 500 targets; good enough to tie for the first-place trophy with rival Sutter High School.
Giusti commented, “This small team is something else. We ended up in fifth place at our first shoot with a team score of 454. At the second shoot, I asked them to give me more, and they did, shooting a 460 and finishing in second place to Sutter by one target. At Fallon I again asked them to give me even more and they did, shooting a 469 and tying for first with Sutter.
“No one person or team has worked as hard as our varsity has and now they are rising to the top where they belong.”
For the junior varsity team, it was Jacob Daniels and team captain Triston Ingwerson shooting a pair of 94s.
Giusti said, “Now on most days this is a good enough score to win the JV division, but a 97 was turned in by the Auburn team and also another 94 by Auburn making it a three-way tie for second and third on the podium. The rules called for a shoot off, and Daniels won handily with a 21 to stand second on the podium.”
Auburn’s Matt Williams shot a 20 to earn third and Ingwerson shot an 18 for fourth.
Giusti also added, “By shoot off time the winds were howling even more.”
Next for the junior varsity team, it was Caleb Montgomery with a 91, Kaleb Kiar with an 88, and Bailey Spalding with an 87 for a team score of 454.
Other scores for the junior varsity team included Zech Pettus 86, Cali Jones 85, Parker Summerville 83, Wesley Langston 82, Nate Biggs 80, Keegan Devine 79 and Jewel Kerby 79. Next were Morgan Rausch, Dillon Ross and Nolan Mallery.
Giusti commented, “As you can see, we have no shortage of good JV shooters and they keep trading places for the top spots on our JV A-squad; they were up 17 targets from our last shoot and easily won another first place, beating second-place Sutter by a whopping 30 targets.
“There is no stopping this JV team as long as we don’t get over confident we should finish at the top of the series shoots and then on to the finals at Stockton in June and hopefully Las Vegas in July for the U.S. Open.”
Giusti later continued, “I would like to thank my great coaches Bob Chavez, Nate Spalding and Rob Schrag; we are all on the same page at the same time and that’s so important. We have 26 kids this year and each and every one of them requires different coaching and their record speaks for itself – it’s working.”