SCOTIA, N.Y. (NEWS10) — While basketball, hockey and lacrosse at the high school level are wrapped up, there is one Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake student still getting shots up, ready to compete at the national stage.
“He’s what we call a natural,” shooting coach Jim Kelly said.
15-year-old Ashtyn DiCaprio of Burnt Hills is headed to Mason, Michigan on July 7th to compete in the trap shooting nationals. Ashtyn has been shooting since he was four, but only picked up trap shooting three months ago.
“I am very surprised,” shooting coach Robert Ottaviano said. “I did not expect him to be shooting this well until a year from now.”
“It’s pretty wild,” DiCaprio said. “I went from barely even shooting ten to now shooting like 24’s and being up there in the high twenties.”
In trap shooting, the shooter gets 25 chances to hit moving clay pigeons out of the air as they rotate between five different shooting spots — a much different challenge than Ashtyn’s early days of shooting.
“Shooting a rifle the target is still and a clay pigeon’s not still,” DiCaprio said. “It’s moving, it’s moving.”
The sport is fairly easy to pick up. While Ashtyn heads to nationals, his teammates on Burnt Hills have shown great progress in the school’s first year offering the sport.
“What’s nice with the young shooters is they’re very coachable,” Ottaviano said.
“It’s fantastic actually really to see how well most of our kids, especially Ashtyn, have taken to it,” shooting coach Matt Goss said. “Really this is all of their first year I think we had one kid with any experience.”
DiCaprio’s coaches and members of the Guan Ho Ha Club believe the kids are they key to growing trap shooting in the Capital Region.
“To see kids outdoors getting involved in shooting sports, it’s something that is dying and I hope that we can bring it back,” Goss said.
“The future of the sport is in the young shooters,” Ottaviano said.