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Local trapshooters aim for another championship season

By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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Get set to ready, aim and fire at the Auburn Gold Miners Trapshooting Club pre-season clinic scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 5. Local fifth through 12th-graders will have the opportunity to warm up for the coming trapshooting season and showcase their skills at this clinic to be held at the Auburn Trapshooting Club. For the novice, the clinic will also feature classroom safety instruction and a review of trapshooting fundamentals. “Trap is a growing sport and has been for a number of years,” said head coach of the Gold Miners, Larry Rolufs. “If you are at all interested in learning gun safety and what it feels like, you should come, get all kinds of free coaching and see if you like it.” For those who discover shooting is a new skill they would like to master, the Gold Miners practice every Wednesday at the trapshooting club. Rolufs said that as a coach he focuses on teaching proper stance, hand and gun positions, and keeping those good habits up. Some of these techniques he honed as an archery instructor through the Auburn Area Parks and Recreation District. Rolufs also said shooting is a sport with longevity. “Shooting is a sport you can start now and continue on even into your 70s and 80s,” Rolufs said. After practicing under his direction the Gold Miners take their skills on the road to participate in fun shoots on the weekends. Assistant Coach Zachary Colburn got involved in shooting four years ago, after being injured in football. “Shooting is my sport,” Colburn said. “Everybody thinks guns are a horrible thing, but we focus a lot on safety and learning about how to work a gun. It’s a fun time.” Colburn not only loves shooting, but also the opportunity to share his shooting knowledge with others that may be up-and-coming. “I want to help them get into shooting and show them why I like it,” Colburn said. “It’s better than getting involved in drugs or something and keeps them out of trouble.” The Gold Miners, comprised of both males and females, compete against other club and high school teams from the region. Trapshooting focuses on shooting moving clay targets that come out of a box in different directions and at fast speeds. “I like it because it’s an exciting sport and pretty challenging,” said Gold Miner member Grant Shattow, 15, of Lake of the Pines. “You get to meet a lot of cool people and go to cool places.” Last year, the sixth-grade team won the state championships and went to the California Youth Shooting and Sports Association National Championships in Illinois. Though they did not place, the experience was a memorable one and they hope to qualify again this year. Audrey Baker, team administrator for the Gold Miners, said the family focus of the sport is one aspect that she enjoys. “It’s a great family sport and probably the safest place you can be,” Baker said. “We have a zero tolerance for non-safety.” For those who do not own a gun or basic equipment, both the team and the Auburn Trapshooting Club will provide loaners. This allows those newer to the sport to decide which type of gun they’d like to invest in. For pre-registration, parental consent forms or additional information, contact Larry Rolufs at (530)885-7677 or Audrey Baker at (916)595-7885. Reach Sara Seyydin at saras@goldcountrymedia.com