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Three local trapshooting teams heading to national competition

Franklin County will be well represented in Sparta, Ill. in a couple of weeks when trapshooters from around the world meet for Grand American Trapshooting Championships and the Academics, Integrity, Marksmanship competitions.

Three teams from the Cedar Hill Trap Range will be participating in the event.

The junior team, which consists of members ages 15-18, is the oldest team going. Although they are young, they are experienced.

“I feel confident,” Austin Herban said. “We’ve been there a few times.”

Other members of the junior team are Bill Collignon, Sidney Johnson, Tyler Moses and Cody Willingham.

Willingham and Moses, who have been shooting for five or six years, have the most experience on the team while Collignon has only been shooting for six weeks.

“I got dragged into it and somebody handed me a gun,” Collignon said.

He proved to be a natural, hitting 22 of 25 targets his first time out. The average for beginners is six targets.

With the addition of Collignon, coach James King thinks the junior team will be a force to be reckoned with in Sparta.

Joining the junior team are the pre sub-junior team, which consists of members ages 11 and under, and the sub-junior team, with members ages 12-14.

Members of the pre sub-junior team are Colton Cox, Samuel Evans, Levi Hargett, Eric Ledlow and Logan Taylor.

Members of the sub-junior team are Hayden Evans, Caleb Mansell, Connor Mansell, Phillip Prince and Hunter Smith. Collin Herban is an alternate and will be competing as an individual at the tournament.

To qualify for the national tournament, team members had to shoot 500 registered targets and be members of the Amateur Trapshooting Association and members of AIM.

While at the competition the shooters will be competing not only for the team but also for individual honors.

Willingham said he has returned to the sport for so many years because he loves shooting targets and said the key to success is confidence.

“You can’t have no in your heart.” Willingham said.

Moses said he enjoys the sport because anybody can do it, which makes it a great way to spend time with friends and family.

“Anybody is welcome to come out when they want to,” Moses said. “We’ll be here to help them.”