Local schools prepare for shooting teams

Gwen Chamberlain The Chronicle-Express

Plans for a new spring sport are taking shape in local high schools. Penn Yan Academy Athletic Director Tobin Tansey says 16 PYA students — 11 boys and five girls — have expressed an interest in participating on the school’s clay target shooting team.

The Penn Yan team will compete against teams from Marcus Whitman, Dundee, and Pal-Mac in competitions that will be held through shooting events held at each school’s assigned shooting range. Penn Yan students will shoot at the Branchport Rod & Gun Club and submit their scores for competition electronically.

Students at the other schools will shoot at their respective ranges, and scores will be compared remotely, so there will not be competitive events at different locations.

Tansey says the Penn Yan students range from freshmen to seniors and some also compete in other spring sports, so the schedule will be arranged to fit around those schedules. Each student owns some type of shotgun to be used in the competitions.

Practices begin March 27, and the season will last 9 weeks. It will be followed by a statewide competition, also scored remotely.

Tansey updated the Penn Yan Board of Education about the new sport at the board’s regular meeting Feb. 1. Other business on the board’s agenda included:

• COACH APPOINTMENTS: The board unanimously approved 30 spring sports coaching assignments.

• ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Steve Griffin, CEO of Finger Lakes Economic Development Center, and Community Development Coordinator Kari DeWick, reported on the collaborative programs the center offers to the school. DeWick reported on projects with the elementary school’s extended school day, the professional speaker day for seventh graders, career day for eighth graders, and site visits for grades 8 through 12.

Through the programs, high school students visit job sites within Yates County, which helps build a pipeline of potential employees for the local businesses, and helps the students learn about the variety of employment opportunities here.

Visits have been made to Ferro, Dailey Electric, Castner’s Performance, Woodtex, Penn Yan Aero, Finger Lakes Health, Coach & Equipment, Yates County Sheriff’s Office, and more.

Griffin says the school is vital to the plan to produce the workforce of the future.

• MEDIA CLUB: Members of the Academy Media Club — Eric Hobbs, Dan Tomlinson, and Ryan Smith — along with advisor Aaron Mumby, presented information on the work the club does.

• MIDDLE SCHOOL DRAMA: Cast members of the he Penn Yan Middle School Drama Club’s “James and the Giant Peach” performed two selections from their upcoming musical.