‘No benchwarmers’ in Forestville Club
By ANTHONY DOLCE
FORESTVILLE — Forestville Central School will be offering a new program for their students this upcoming spring, in the form of a Trap Shooting Club. Jeff Heim gave the presentation to the Board of Education about the Trap Club last week.
Any student, boy or girl, can join the club, provided that they are over the age of 12. On top of that, any number of participants will be able to shoot at the events.
“There’s no benchwarmers,” Heim said. “Everybody gets to shoot.”
Participants must have their hunter’s education certificate and there is a $35 entry per season. Two seasons, one in spring and one in fall. The hunter’s education certification is done online and have to register the number on the certificate. Without that, there will be an extra $35 charge per time shooting without the safety certificate. The certificate lasts for life.
The guns used will be 20-gauge or 12-gauge shotguns with 7.5 or 8 shot ammunition. Students will be required to wear safety glasses and gloves. The season starts in March, and events will fire regardless of the weather.
“As long as it isn’t affecting or harming anyone like thunder and lightning, we’re going,” Heim said. “We’ll shoot.”
The team will compete across the state against other schools with a similar number of kids. If Forestville only has seven students competing on the team, they will compete against other schools with similar numbers, and not schools that have 30 kids.
There is also no travel as part of the club. All the events will be held out of the Hanover Fish and Game Club. The Club is open on Thursday nights for people to try if they’re interested and Heim encourages parents and kids to come out.
The minimum number of students needed to have the team is five, and for every 10 kids, there will need to be an additional coach. Heim said that Gowanda Central school is participating in this league as well and are helping them with the process.
“They’re going to guide me through this and help me out,” Heim said. “They’ll help us get off the ground and get this thing going and help out with some grants we can apply for.”
One big thing Heim said he would need is assistance. Noting that it isn’t a one-man operation, he is calling on various parents or any other volunteers to help run Forestville’s newest team. Additionally, Heim said there will have to be fundraising in order to help acquire ammunition, as there is an ammunition shortage right now which has led to inflated prices on the secondary market. Heim advises parents to not pay the exorbitant secondary prices and to try and find them from regular retailers.
“Parents can start buying it now, I strongly encourage it,” Heim said. “This is a tough time to get into. Don’t pay these higher prices, some of these prices out here are nuts. Start buying it and we’ll get some through federal grants and hopefully through Winchester.”
Heim said that he’ll be looking to see what he can do about the prices and doesn’t want to exclude kids from participating because they don’t have ammunition. But there is a lot of importance in controlling what the kids are using.
“We have to control and monitor what goes in that gun and what comes out of it,” Heim said. “We don’t want any accidents.”
The presentation for the Trap Team was met well by the school board, prompting one member to express that they would have had interest when they were in school.
“It sounds like an interesting program,” said Forestville Board Vice President Merv Fry. “I’m sorry they didn’t have something like that when I was in high school.”