The JU Varsity Shooting Team recently took a five-man squad to the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) National Championships and came back with four national titles, in Sporting Clays, Handicap Trap, Trap Doubles and Skeet Doubles.
More than 2,500 high school and collegiate athletes competed in the biggest-yet SCTP Nationals July 13-18 at the World Shooting Complex in Sparta, Ill. JU faced off against Division 1 Association of College Unions International (ACUI) National Champion Lindenwood University, as well as Division 1 ACUI Runner-up National Champion Bethel University and other shooting powerhouses such as Fort Hays State (Kansas), Southeastern Illinois College and the University of Iowa.
JU’s five-man squad, facing some of the top shooters in the U.S., included Scott Hensley (former Captain), Mike Esposito (former Captain), Sean Hensley (Captain), Ron Palazzetti (Captain) and Trysten Routledge.
Esposito and Sean Hensley were a one-two punch. Esposito ran a perfect 100/100 in Sporting Clays his first day, which is extremely rare, and ultimately came out on top as the SCTP Collegiate National HOA (High Over All) Champion in Sporting Clays, while Sean Hensley came in as RU National Champ. JU now has two National Individual (HOA) Champions in Esposito (SCTP – Sporting Clays) and Scott Hensley (ACUI – International Skeet).
In February, JU swept the ACUI Regionals in International Skeet and Bunker Trap at Fort Benning for the second year in a row, an Olympic team qualifying event. The JU Varsity Shooting Team is now a six-time National (Divisional) Event Champion, with two individual National (HOA) Champions.
Both Esposito and Scott Hensley are professionally certified Instructors and JU assistant coaches, as well as graduate students. Mike has completed his MBA and started preparing for his doctorate, while Scott is finishing his MBA.
The team lost some serious talent after spring graduation, but there is a lot of new talent joining and helping to rebuild for collegiate shooting, which is the most competitive it has ever been. Congratulations to all of our students, and many thanks to the Jacksonville Gun Club and all of the other clubs that have stood behind our youth and collegiate shooters,
– David Dobson
Varsity Shooting Team Head Coach
For more about the Jacksonville University Sporting Clays, Skeet and Trap Team and how to join, click here.