HERMISTON — For the second consecutive year, the Hermiston High School trap shooting club team earned the title of state champion.
Hermiston went to the Oregon State High School Clay Target League State Tournament at the Hillsboro Trap & Skeet Club on Saturday, June 24 and defended its title after scoring 465 points to tie with Molalla. Hermiston then won it outright on a tiebreaker, which was either team’s high-gun score and Bulldogs’ Blake Betz’s 97 score and overall high-gun honors for the tournament.
Rounding out the top five team scores was Madras in third with 461, Cascade Christian with 446 and Echo with 436.
The championship was much tougher to come by for Hermiston this season, seeing the number of teams it was competing against rise from two last season to 13 this year. It’s only the second year of the league and the team, but Hermiston coach John Adams is already impressed with the progress.
“The improvement in these kids was remarkable,” Adams said on Wednesday. “A lot of them went from hitting single digits to hitting almost all of them.”
Betz’s high-gun victory was also a tight race, as he finished tied with Echo’s Hunter Barnes with a 97. But Betz won the tie break on the reverse run of the scorecard.
Also brining home awards from the tournament was Hermiston’s Jenna Wallace, who won high gun in the female junior varsity category with 92 points. Echo’s Natalee Sherbahn finished third with 80.
Numerous Hermiston and Echo kids also littered the all-state team, which is comprised of the top 25 competitors from their league season.
Making the cut for Hermiston was Kaden Smith (24.5 point average), Betz (23.5), Devon Brittner (23.1), Case Hiatt (23), Dylan Hunter (22.1), Tanner Meads (21.4), Tyson Stocker (21) and Zane Davis (21).
For Echo, Makiah Blankenship (23.1), Hunter Barnes (22.3), and Ethan Hobson (21.9) made it, as did Brett Troutman (22) from Arlington.
In the league season, Hermiston finished on top of Conference 3 with 2,329 total points, beating Molala (1,931.5) and Canby (914.5). Echo finished second in the five-team Conference 2 with 1,084.5 points behind only Cascade Christian (1,349.5).
Arlington finished sixth in the six-team Conference 1 with 212.5 points in its inaugural season in the league.