Pella Shooting Team


Tiffany VanGilst

Shooting season has started at Pella High, and the sky is getting cloudy from all the gun smoke. The team has received fifteen State Champion titles, and multiple students have achieved All-State titles.

The Pella Shooting Club has three main events that shooters participate in. The events include skeet, trap, and sporting clays. The team also participates in a spring and fall can drive to raise money. The season’s practices started on March 12, and they have been competing in meets since April 7.

Each practice starts with a safety meeting about how to properly use and care for one’s gun.  They also go over procedures that should be followed on the range. This goes with their moto, “Promoting firearm safety through team based clay target shooting.” The team practices in Searsboro and at Black Oak Clays.

“At practice you can pick what you want to work on that day,” said junior Cheyanna Sheaffer. “We can shoot full rounds, or if there’s a specific station on skeet that I’m struggling with, I can single that out and shoot it over a bunch of times.”

Meets start with a team meeting, like their practices.  After that, members go and shoot at their events and then wait for scores and awards.

“My favorite part of the meets is shooting with other kids from different schools,” said sophomore Grace Eisenbarth.

The team also has the option of competing at state. To compete at state, students need to pay a fee for their clays and targets. The state dates are: June 6-10 for trap, June 16 for sporting clays, and June 22-23 for skeet.

Sheaffer has participated at state since her sixth grade year and had shoot offs with other girls in her division for state titles.

“State trap is a very difficult competition to begin with, so I was very excited to be in the shootoff,” said Sheaffer commenting about her freshman year trip to state. “I was nervous and ended up winning my shootoff. I had never won a state trap award ever.”