SPARTA, Illinois— Luke Bower of Tyrone, New Mexico, has been selected to the 2023 Junior (age 15-17) All-American trapshooting second team, according to the Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA), which determines the teams. More than 100 years old, trapshooting is a competitive sport of shooting at clay targets with a shotgun.
The ATA hosts both the Grand American (the 11-day world tournament which in August drew nearly 2,000 contestants to the World Shooting & Recreational Complex in Sparta, IL) and a series of "satellite" Grands (smaller, regional tournaments providing Grand American-style trophies and competition). The association also sponsors five zone shoots.
To be considered for the All-American team, Bower had to meet a minimum target requirement, and he had to have competed in at least three states. Selection was made based on All-American points accumulated while winning trophies and posting high scores at tournaments throughout the country during the 2022 ATA target year.
Bower won most of his trophies at his state shoot in New Mexico. He won 11 trophies including his junior category awards in the championship doubles, singles, all-around and high-over all. He traveled to other state shoots where he earned points by winning junior category awards. In Arizona he won four trophies including the non-resident junior runnerup in the singles championship. At the Idaho State Shoot he swept the non-resident championship events which were the doubles, singles, handicap and high-over-all. At the California State Shoot, he did another sweep of the out-of-state junior championship awards. At the Grand American World Trapshooting Championships, he placed junior third in the prestigious Champion of Champions event with a perfect score of 100x100. He also won a Class A trophy in the Doubles Super 500 hitting 483 out of 500 targets.
When not on the trap field, Bower plays football and golf for Silver High School and is a member of the National Honor Society. He has served as 4-H club president, and he is an avid outdoorsman enjoying hunting and fishing.
Established in 1923, the ATA promotes and governs the sport of trapshooting, primarily in the United States and Canada. In the 2022 target year, more than 30,000 members participated in the sport, competing in one or more of the 5,000-plus sanctioned tournaments (shoots registered by the ATA organization) on the local, regional, state, zone and world championship levels.
Trapshooters fire at clay targets (approximately 4-1/4 inches in diameter and 1-1/8 inch in height) launched at varying angles. In singles events, all entrants stand at the 16-yard line and fire at one target at a time; in handicap, participants are assigned a yardage from 19 to 27 yards (according to averages and known ability) and fire at one target at a time; in doubles, two targets are released at the same time and each contestant, standing at the 16-yard line, is allowed one shot for each.
Trapshooting celebrities have included Annie Oakley, John Philip Sousa and Roy Rogers. The sport’s stats and records are chronicled and maintained by Trap & Field, the official magazine of the ATA.
If you are interested in trying trapshooting, please call the ATA at 618-449-2224 or visit the association’s website www.shootata.com to find a local club near you. The ATA was headquartered in Vandalia, Ohio, for more than 80 years and in 2012 relocated offices to Sparta, Ill.