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By Brian Beard, 03/21/19, 6:15PM MDT


SALT LAKE CITY, UT -- The Utah Scholastic Clay Target Program and UTYESS announced Tuesday the introduction of two new awards programs for student athletes in shotgun shooting sports within the state of Utah. Athletes are now able to compete for the Rookie of the Year, and Utah State Team.

The Rookie of the Year award is awarded to a first-year competitor in each division: Novice, Junior, Junior Varsity, Varsity, Collegiate, and Ladies. In addition to attending the required number of UTYESS events, student athletes must apply for the Rookie of the Year award and provide an athlete resume. The applying athletes are asked to submit information such as trophies and awards earned both in UTYESS events and other shooting avenues, a brief description of what they enjoyed most during their first year of competition, and a brief description of who inspires them to shoot and why.

“The resume is the most important part of the application,” said Trent Vandam. Assistant Coach of Riverton Shooting Club. “We understand it’s the parents that are likely filling out these applications for their kids; but the kids are sitting right there by them and it really gets them thinking about all the stuff they’ve achieved that year.”

The Utah State Team award will replace the State HOA awards UTYESS awarded last year. After attending the required number of UTYESS events, the athletes scores are compiled and the top five athletes in each category are named members of that year’s Utah State Team. The highest scoring athlete in each category is named Team Captain. The athletes will have their photos taken and be featured on posters in many of the gun clubs throughout the state of Utah, along with their name and shooting average. For the first year of this program, only the athletes scores in American Trap will be included. Skeet, Sporting Clays, and other events may be included in later years.

“Utah’s participation in youth shooting sports is exploding,” said Brian Beard, President of Utah Scholastic Clay Target Program/UTYESS. “It’s amazing to see how quickly youth shooting sports is growing and these new awards just add to the value the youth shooters receive from the sport.”

For more information on Rookie of the Year, the Utah State Team, or to find a UTYESS team near you contact your coach or visit