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Perfect Start

Charles City trapshooters win first two meets, Comet freshman Crooks hits first 45 clays

Perfect Start
Press photo by John Burbridge
Charles City’s No. 1 team of, from left, Devin Alton, Colby Gavitt, Colton Crooks, Dylan Bilharz and Nick Ritzman won Thursday’s trapshooting meet against Osage with a team score of 224.
By John Burbridge,

NASHUA — Unimpressed by Luke Skywalker’s initial success in his first Jedi Knight lesson, Han Solo remarked, “Good against remotes is one thing. Good against the living … that’s something else.”

Going into the first meet of his first high school trapshooting season, Charles City freshman Colton Crooks was already good against the living. An experienced hunter who bagged his first turkey when he was 7 years old, Crooks was more than ready when taking aim at clay pigeons.

“I wasn’t that surprised,” Crooks said about going 25-of-25 in his first-ever prep round at Tuesday’s season-opening meet at the Cedar Falls Gun Club. “I felt I was going to do well.”

Despite the cold and windy conditions, Crooks continued to crush the clays well into the second round, eventually hitting the first 45 targets of his high school career. When the 46th clay flattened and dipped, it was Crooks’s first high school miss as he eventually went 49-of-50.

With Charles City senior Devin Alton hitting 48 clays, the two Comet shooters finished 1-2 among individuals while helping Charles City’s No. 3 squad win the meet.

“Not since I’ve been coaching here,” said Charles City/Nashua-Plainfield head coach Tim Laube when asked if there was ever another trapshooter of his who went 25-on-25 in his or her first high school round.

To commemorate Crooks’s first perfect round, members of CC/N-P shot up his hat when it was tossed in the air by assistant coach Kevin Tierney after the combined team hosted Osage, Thursday at the Nashua Fish and Game Club.

With Colby Gavitt hitting 47 clays, Alton, Crooks and Nick Ritzman hitting 46, and Dylan Bilharz hitting 39, Charles City’s No. 1 squad won Thursday’s meet with a team score of 224 — Ritzman had a perfect 25 first round and Alton had a perfect 25 latter round.

Placing second was Osage’s No. 1 squad with a 220 team score. The Green Devils were led by Andrew Thyer, who shot 48 clays to lead all shooters.

Nashua’s lone squad — led by Kollyn Lentz’s 47 and a pair of 46s by Bobby Gipple and Cody Fisher — placed third with a team score of 209.

Gavitt, Lentz and Payton Severin, who led Charles City’s No. 2 squad with a 47, squared off in a shoot off for second place with the firing line moved back from 16 yards to 21 yards. Lentz won the shoot off with Severin placing 3rd and Gavitt placing 4th.

On Saturday, Nashua-Plainfield will host an invitational at the Nashua Fish and Game Club starting at 8:30 a.m.