Shooting is a family affair for junior

Posted Friday, Jun. 21, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Shotguns were a familiar tool for Taylor Dennett, a junior at the Aledo High School, by the time she turned 11 years old.

At that time, after growing up seeing her father and other family members shoot and doing some shooting herself, Taylor entered the game of sporting clays.

"It’s like playing golf with a shotgun," Taylor’s father, Robbie, described the sport.

Competitors visit different stations on a course that often covers over 30 acres of land. At each station, participants shoot at two targets that can be tossed from any direction and at varying heights and distances.

Taylor said that is why she prefers sporting clays to skeet and trap shooting, whose targets travel along nearly identical paths.

"You don’t ever know where they’re coming from," Taylor said of the sporting clays targets.

In the last couple years, Taylor became even more serious about the sport and the competitions she participates in throughout the year.

In the last year she ranked about 20th in the nation in the ladies’ competitions and was also near the top 30 for the junior competition which includes all competitors age 16-21 years old.

"I absolutely love it," Taylor said.

Taylor participates in the sport through the Johnson County 4H club, which she is the president of, and also through the National Sporting Clays Association.

Dennett said his daughter is hoping to gain college scholarship opportunities through the sport.

At a recent competition, Taylor was interviewed by a writer for a sporting clays magazine who is also a professor at Kansas State. He invited Taylor to come visit the school as she considers what school to go to.

Taylor said she also hopes to visit Florida State which has a team.

Dennett often attends competitions with his daughter and said he is proud of what she has been able to do through the sport.

"It’s great seeing her accomplish something I didn’t ever think she could accomplish," Dennett said.

Taylor said she has often been told that she is a girl in a man’s sport when she takes part in competitions around the country, but she said that just makes her victories sweeter when she succeeds in competitions.

At a recent state competition in Houston, she took first in three different events.

But when shooting with the 4H club, Taylor said her favorite part is getting to spend time with participants from a wide range of ages.

Dennett said he is pleased that through 4H and participating in competitions, Taylor has learned to interact well with others of all ages.

"We’re thrilled to death about the way she handles herself," Dennett said.

Recently, Taylor and her father participated in a world competition in San Antonio where thousands of people competed.

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