Editor's Note: For this #ThrowbackThursday, we're highlighting this submission from Cory Stamper. Back in 2010, the then-teenage Cory sent us his account of the many valuable lessons he'd learned from trapshooting. Having started in competition in 2002, he already had a lot of experience under his shell pouch...and we hope it's only gotten better since then. Cory, if you're out there, we'd love to hear what you're up to these days!
At the age of nine, I began my shooting career with the 4-H Shooting Sports Project. In reviewing in my notes from my first record book, I listed the discipline of Trapshooting as my favorite discipline. Trapshooting remains my favorite.
After winning the 9-to-11-year-old 4-H State Trap Competition, my parents bought me a 12-gauge Ljutic Shotgun. I joined ATA and started registering targets in 2002. The shooting sports have taught me to be responsible by maintaining my shooting records, registering at shoots, learning the rules of the game and the importance of maintenance for my guns and safety equipment. Shooting requires practice, time, patience and communication. This sport has also aided in the development of my interpersonal skills. Shooting in events has given me the opportunity to shoot with many diverse individuals. I have developed relationships and made friendships that will sustain me throughout my life. A memorable highlight of shooting was when I went to a shoot and was placed on a squad with shooters I had never met before. I returned to the car and told Mom, “They all have Ljutic shotguns!” Those individuals and fellow shooters have turned out to be mentors and close friends.
Self-discipline has been another of my shooting lessons. Shooting has taught me that I am responsible to get myself to the line and discipline myself to practice. The shooting sports taught me to have pride in my own ability and my accomplishments while remaining a humble competitor. I feel more confident in my abilities and happy for fellow shooters when they do well. I’ve also learned to set goals and pursue my dreams. One of my first goals was to become a safe shooter. Shooting safely is my first priority each and every time I go to the line.
I became a Junior Shotgun Coach in the winter of 2006. The future of shooting is in the new shooters and I wanted others to experience the game of shooting Trap. I enjoy assisting younger shooters.
In 2006, I had a hand injury (not related to shooting). I remember coming back from the doctor’s office asking Mom if she thought I could possibly shoot during the Kentucky State shoot. This injury made it impossible for me to shoot for most of the summer—what a disappointment! I felt like I had let my scholastic team down…but accidents happen.
The highlight of my shooting career was winning the Kentucky State Handicap Championship in 2007 with a score of 99 out of 100. I participated in the shoot-off and shot 50 straight in two shoot off situations. During this competition, I participated in the Scholastic event as well, and won High Man with a score of 99 on opening day of the State Shoot. In 2008 and 2009, our Scholastic Team won State for Varsity and represented Kentucky at the Grand American.
In 2009, I participated in the Kentucky State Shoot and won High Junior and High Overall. During the state, I shot a score of 200 straight and was very pleased to compete against the more experienced shooters in a shootout. I was one of seven with that accomplishment and won Junior Singles. Our AIM Team won State and traveled to the Grand American. While shooting as individual at the Grand, I placed Runner-up for my yardage during Preliminary Week. It was very exciting. One of the year's highlights was traveling to Indiana and participating in their shoot—winning Non-resident Singles.
Shooting Sports have taught me to continue to set goals and to be persistent in reaching goals. An immediate goal is to improve my handicap score. I would love to earn a shooting scholarship, to shoot in the Olympics and continue shooting Trap for a really long time.