TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — In the afternoon of the fall, or spring high school sports season, you’ll find a team from Lansingburgh High School getting shots up. But not the type of shots you’re probably thinking of. This is a group that is helping change the landscape of traditional high school athletics – the Lansingburgh trap shooting team.
Trap shooting is one of the fastest-growing sports in New York State, and when the faculty at Lansingburgh had an opportunity to bring a program to their school, they seized it.
“It’s more common to see these teams in rural areas,” said head coach and Lansingburgh technology teacher Adam South. “And that’s I think (what) struck a nerve with my superintendent where, you know, every kid should have this opportunity. And we brought it here, and we had eight kids the first season, 10 kids the second season, and we’re going into the third season with about 12 to 13 kids.”
And in those first two seasons, the Knights have experienced tremendous success. They placed second in their conference (1A – Conference 2), and boast two shooters who are ranked in the top-three in the state. Sophomore Madina Kasianczuk and junior Liam Roarke were both the top average scorers in the conference; Kasianczuk is the top-ranked shooter in the state for girls, and Roarke sits third in the state for boys.
The accolades are impressive, but it’s the relationships the students have developed that they’ve cherished the most.
“We just made it so fun,” said junior Gillian Pitman. “We…(weren’t) so competitive that we got angry at each other. We just cheered each other on, and celebrated everyone’s achievements, and…we became a family.”
For a group so supportive of one another, it’s been exciting to watch the team grow in the two seasons since the program’s inception. “It was really cool to see how good the team got, and how well they did at states,” said junior Lucas Duff. “And when we went to states, to the see the amount of people that actually did trap…(it’s) crazy.”
Coach South says that for almost half of his team, trap shooting is their only extracurricular activity. He takes great pride in offering the students an outlet to participate in a team atmosphere. “Everybody can shoot,” he said. “I’ve been teaching for 21 years, and this has really been an amazing experience…one of the highlights of my career bringing this to the students of Lansingburgh High School.”