Thirty-one shooters ranging in age from 9 to 23 participated in the 14th annual Sam Hyde Sr. Youth Skeet Shoot on April 1 at the Skeet Club in Amite.
The novice division, designed for beginning shooters, included some of the youngest and oldest competitors. In a close competition decided by only two points, second-time shooter Carolyn Town, of Baton Rouge, took the top spot.
The junior division included some returning competitors as well first-time participants. Every shooter in the division had multiple hits on the fast-moving clay targets. John Daniel Guerin, of Hammond, pulled away from runner up Grant Sandifer to become the 2017 champion with double-digit hits on the 25 targets.
The senior division drew a field of 25 participants including several veterans of competition skeet shooting. Previous medalists including Carter Capdeboscq, Keaton Biggs and Dylan Mace remained in the hunt through the early shooting, but as the final stations were reached, a group of shooters had edged ahead of the pack to secure the five slots in the Championship round.
In a repeat of the 2016 competition, Clay Hyde maintained a perfect score through the first five shooting stations only to be matched station-for-station by veteran shooter Tyler Hatrel. Previous champions including Dillon Vining, Patrick Quin, and 2016 champion Andrew Hyde remained one shot behind the leaders. Perfect shooting on the final station propelled Clay Hyde to victory with Vining one shot behind as runner up.
The Youth Shoot remains an important component of the Florida Parishes Skeet and Conservation Association’s mission to promote gun safety and educate the public about competitive skeet shooting, according to a news release. The event is held each year in April, and participants and their families are treated to a picnic lunch and an awards ceremony following the shoot.