MHS students represent state in annual event
Madras High School's Jarred DuPont and Jamie Moe are two of the finest young trap shooters in the state.
The two trigger sensations recently put their skills to the test at the Scholastic Clay Target Program's national team competition, held annually in Sparta, Ill.
"It was big, a really big deal," said DuPont, who boarded an airplane for the first time in his life. "I mean you go from this little town to this really big town."
The national meet was held at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex - a $52 million facility which is the biggest of its kind in the world. The facility has 120 trap fields extending 3.5 miles in length, two ranges of sporting clays and over 125 trap houses, and also includes 24 skeet fields.
"You couldn't see the end of the traps," DuPont said. "It was awesome."
Moe and DuPont, who finished one-two, respectively, for top gun honors in the Oregon state championships in June, were tested again at the national meet that included 2,400 shooters nationwide.
"It was a ton of fun," Moe said. "Even though we didn't do as well as we wanted to do, it really opened my eyes as to what we have to do in order to improve."
DuPont and Moe shoot locally for the youth shooting club Shell Shocked and represented Oregon, along with Central Oregon's Daniel Helm, Jake Munsell and Budy Palmer at the national meet. Those shooters combined with other shooters around the state to form a 16-member squad for the national meet.
"At this level, you just don't miss," said Jennifer DuPont, who is the coordinator of Shell Shocked, along with Jeff DuPont.
Moe and Jarred DuPont took aim at sporting clays and skeet targets during their seven-day adventure. Oregon finished 22nd in skeet and 24th in sporting clays.
"We learned that we need to shoot a lot more than we are right now," said Moe, who has goals to earn college scholarships for trap shooting.
While the competition is friendly between the two siblings by marriage, Jarred DuPont and Moe had never converted 25 of 25 targets in a round, but they did in the final round of the event.
"The biggest victory for me was these two broke 25 on their last round, and they had never done that before," said Jeff DuPont.
Ironically, it was one more notch in a rivalry that pushes each shooter.
"We shoot the same scores nearly 70 percent of the time," Moe said. "It's fun and we definitely want to beat one another."
This is the first year for the youth shooting club Shell Shocked. The initial organizational meeting drew 26 kids, but only seven or eight have competed consistently thus far. The club is actively seeking more members. Those interested should contact Jennifer DuPont at 541-390-0285.
"A big thank you goes to Gene Harrison," Jennifer DuPont said of Harrison, who also attended the national meet and helps instruct shooters locally at the Madras Rod and Gun Club. "To be in the club, you don't have to shoot competitively. This is a club designed to have fun and enjoy the sport".