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Valley Sports Report
JAMESVILLE, N.Y. — Waverly, led by individual gold medalist senior Cayden Turcsik, won the the New York State Clay Target League Skeet Tournament here Saturday at the Dewitt Fish & Game Club.

The Wolverines also won the five-week regular-season title with 367 points, with Hoosick Falls finishing second at 349.5 points, and Haverling third with 329 points. Christian Brothers Academy was fourth with 131.5 points.

Turcsik was the top shooter in the state during the regular season, while freshman Serenity Conklin and 7th-grader Serenity Relyea finished second and third, respectively, in the Girls Division.

“It has been such a great experience working with these kids,” said coach Ben Hettinger, who is also the school’s SRO. “We had an amazing group this year. Our seniors really made the team a family.”

This year’s seniors are Turcsik, Tyler Talada, Austin Ingham, Thomas Hand, and Brenton Campbell.

Turcsik won the state title with a score of 86 (out of 100), including a perfect round of 25. Talada shot a 71 for the Wolverines and Campbell added a 51. Turcsik finished second at the inaugural state meet in 2019 as a freshman. (The 2020 and ’21 site meets were canceled due to Covid.)

“Cayden Turcsik has been committed to this Championship since the 9th grade,” said Hettinger. “He has never missed a practice and always pushes himself to do better.

“The real key to his success this year was just relaxing and enjoying the sport,” he noted. “Once he got out of his own head, and just shot on instinct, he was amazing.  

“The team is really gonna miss him, but I’m hoping I can get him to coach next year,” added Hettinger.

The Wolverines also had two other place-winners in other divisions.

Seventh-grader Brandon Bennett finished second in the JV Division with 77 points, including a round of 24. Freshman Jordan Grier added a 73 in the JV competition.

Eighth-grader Aiden Doherty was second in the Novice Division with 68 points.

Despite losing a strong group of seniors, Hettinger is looking forward to the future as well.

“We also have a group of young shooters that are gonna be amazing,” he said. “We have 7th-, 8th- and 9th-grade kids that are hitting high scores frequently in practice.

“This team is losing some great seniors, but we have a strong core of young kids too,” he said.

The under class on the team are Bennett, and fellow 7th-graders Ben Shaw and Serenity Relyea; Doherty and fellow 8th-graders Trevor Blauvelt, and Wyatt Freer; freshmen Jacob Besecker, Kaitlyn Burns, Serenity Conklin, Jordan Grier, and Makena Pike; sophomores Abigail Blauvelt, and Tyler Chapman; and junior Ryan Clark.

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