Safety, Fun, Marksmanship, In That Order

By: Joe Angelino

Safety, fun, marksmanship, in that order

Imagine if high school football did not exist. However, a group of gridiron enthusiasts was trying to convince school boards that football should be supported for the good of the children and the district.

They explain the sport requires lots of student-athletes to comprise a team and the mandatory safety equipment to prevent broken bones and concussions is expensive.

And, by the way, the town’s ambulance should be on standby at every game. If this hypothetical example was the case today, football wouldn’t stand a chance of becoming a mainstream, school-sponsored sport.

A situation is playing out with a different high school sport which is trying to gain traction; clay target shooting.

Currently, only one local school district has a clay target shooting team, Gilbertsville-Mount Upton School District. This team sport was recently approved by the school board members - unanimously.

GMU is located in the river valley between Chenango and Otsego counties. The “home field” for the GMU Clay Raiders is the Gilbertsville Rod and Gun club. Just like their bi-county school district, the rod and gun club sits in Otsego County but has a South New Berlin, Chenango County address.

In order to avoid any confusion and to have everyone on the same page of music, here’s exactly what the GMU Clay Raiders do on Wednesday afternoons during their season. The team, with trained adult supervision fire shotguns at flying clay disks targets. The scores for hitting targets are recorded and then compared to other high school shooting teams in the league. The team motto is; “Safety, Fun, Marksmanship.”

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