Gatewood shooters excel at tournament

Aaron Copelan, Baylor Garland and Nash Sinclair (center group) of the Gatewood clay target pports team pose with their winnings after coming in first in the second annual Southeastern Youth Clay Target Combine. 

By Brandon Bush


A championship-winning Gator team has come out on top yet again.

Gatewood’s clay target sports team competed in the second annual Southeastern Youth Clay Target Combine, a multi-state shotgun event featuring the top varsity teams from Georgia, South Carolina and Mississippi. The Gators traveled to the Palmetto Shooting Complex in Edgefield, South Carolina, to compete in the event and were named the first-place winners of the day with a score of 421.

The Gatewood shooters – which include Aaron Copelan, Baylor Garland and Nash Sinclair – took the first-place spot and joined First Presbyterian Day as one of the two Georgia schools to finish in the top three.

Across all participating schools, 90 varsity shooters were present for the event and 30 teams were formed from the combined Independent Schools Systems of the three participating states. Each shooter taking part in the event shot sporting clays, skeet and trap for a total of 150 total targets.

In addition to placing first with the team, Copelan was the highest overall male at the event with a score of 147, just barely edging out runner-up Andrew Weiche from Windsor Academy in Macon, who had a score of 146.

The Southeastern Youth Clay Target Combine was created to help develop interest in shooting sports in the Southeast while giving young student-athletes the chance to compete outside state lines. The event was created with the combined efforts of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

The Gators’ clay target team has won the last four state championships, making its latest victory in the combine just another day at the office for this Gatewood team. With a new school year and more competitions ahead, the quest for No. 5 is already underway for the Gator shooters.

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