McBain NMCS Clay Target Team Gears Up for First Year of Competition

McBAIN – Clay target shooting is on the rise in northern Michigan high schools and one of the fastest growing sports in the state, with several local programs growing their numbers each year.

The McBain NMCS clay target team is one of those programs preparing for spring trap shooting competitions in its first season after COVID-19 prevented their start last year.

“When we started we were gonna have a team last year, then it didn’t workout because COVID shut us down,” coach Doug Kinkema said. “And I’ve talked to other teams that started like us with single digits and then in the second year they were in the 20’s and now they’re in the 40 to 45 kid range.”

The team is made up of nine high school students form McBain High School and McBain Northern Michigan Christian. The group is led and mentored by coach Doug Kinkema, a marksman with over 50 years of experience in the sport.

“They get better every time they shoot. Once you see the picture, if you can just get the picture again you break the bird,” Kinkema said.

“I feel like we can all practice a bit more. You can never be perfect at the end of the day,” McBain freshman Kameron Nethaway said.” It’s really cool it allows me to get better at knowing who I’m going against and who I could become friends with later on.”

The sport offers a fun and unique opportunity to get outdoors and make new friends, all with safety as the number one priority.

“This is my first time,” McBain NMC senior Jamie Dekam said. “I just started getting interested because I just enjoy being outdoors and not only that I just enjoy the fun of skeet shooting.”

“It’s the safety part of it, that’s the starter,” Kinkema said. “They got to be safe handling the firearm and after that when they start breaking a few more birds on and off, that’s what it’s all about.”

The NMCS clay target team opened up its 2021 spring season with its first competition on Thursday.