Taking their shots: Area teens hit targets with new passion

Colson Allen, left, and Isaac McCoy from Randolph County were in Illinois for a major trapshooting competition earlier this month. (Courtesy photo)

ASHEBORO – Randolph County teenagers Colson Allen and Isaac McCoy took a school pastime and have made it a full-fledged hobby.

Trapshooting has taking them to multiple states for competitions and they’ve come home with recognition for their accuracy.

“I started with the school with hunter safety,” Allen said. “My school coach (J.D. Goodwin) got me into ATA.”

They recently returned from the Amateur Trapshooting Association’s Grand American event at the World Shooting & Recreational Complex in Sparta, Ill.

Allen and McCoy, who’ve known each other since fifth grade, are beginning their sophomore years at Uwharrie Charter Academy. They’ve been involved with the shooting club at the school four about for four years.

“(Goodwin) told us about ATA after we got through with a tournament for 4-H,” McCoy said. “We started practicing and got involved.”

It took time and determination.

“My first few times shooting I wasn’t good at all,” Allen said.

Allen and McCoy took part in their first ATA event last October in Rockingham County. Since spring, they’ve gone to several states to compete before the Grand American, where more than 3,047 entrants registered and multiple countries were represented.

Allen received three trophies for his efforts. He was the sub-junior champion in his division, placed third in the sub-junior 100-target event, and fifth out of 200-plus entrants in the Class C world clay target championship.

McCoy had 100 straight targets. He earned a trophy in the ATA world doubles championship for third place. He was involvedin two shoot-outs in one night in another category.

“These boys have only been doing this for a few months and came home with something,” said Beth Allen, Colson’s mother. “It’s kind of one of those obscure things.”

Competitions have several divisions and different challenges with varying yardage groups.

It has been an ongoing learning experience. They might practice at least three times per week.

“Just shooting all week, I saw I had it in me,” McCoy said. “I just really enjoyed shooting. That’s about the only thing I look forward to.”

Allen and McCoy go regularly to practice at the Rockingham County Gun Club in Reidsville.

“I try to work on everything when I’m up there,” Allen said.

The competitions provide another level of learning.

“I like the people on the line,” Allen said. “You meet a bunch of different people and gain from their experiences.”

McCoy, who’s aiming to land a shooting-related scholarship for college, said being around other shooters is part of what interests him. He had gone to Virginia and South Carolina for shooting competitions, but the trip to Illinois took it to another level.

“You’re being around good shooters at these tournaments and I like how they treat you,” he said. “(I enjoy) seeing everybody at the shoots that I know.”

Allen lives on a small goat farm near Seagrove. McCoy, who said fishing and hunting are other activities he enjoys, lives just outside Asheboro.

Now that they’re immersed in the activity, there’s the quest to improve.

“I just got to get everything fine-tuned and work on my consistency,” Allen said. “I know I can hit all the targets. You have to work on the mental.”

In the fall, Allen and McCoy are set to take part in the Dixie Grand in Bostic.

By Bob Sutton