Jacob Jacot is an incoming junior at Derby High School who participates on a high school Skeet and Trap shooting team. What is the catch? The high school he competes for is located nearly 28 miles away from where he attends classes.
Jacot is a part of the Valley Center High School shooting team and earned state honors last season in his first year of competition. He placed third in JV trap shooting and fourth in JV skeet shooting at the state tournament. In the trap competition, he shot a 94 out of 100, which was one of his best scores.
Jacob had been shooting for a while, but he recently took aim at competing. “I have been shooting for a long time,” Jacot said. “I really got serious about it like two or three years ago.”
Since Derby does not have a shooting team, Jacot was allowed to practice with the Maize South shooting team in the fall with special permission. He was restricted from the team in spring competitions because he was not a student of the high school.
Left without a team, it appeared he was out of luck. Fortunately, Valley Center came to the rescue and offered him a spot on the roster.
Being the lone student from a different school may seem like an intimidating situation to jump into, but it wasn’t much of a challenge for Jacot.
“I didn’t feel a difference,” Jacot said. “Going into it, I kind of knew some of them, but I didn’t know any of them personally. I had seen some of them around the gun club. I became friends with all of the guys there, so it was fine.”
The Ark Valley Gun Club, which is nearly 29 miles away from Derby High, is one of the only gun clubs in the area that offers skeet and trap shooting. The majority of practices and events were on the weekends, which avoided the challenge of balancing any differing school schedules and competition for Jacot.
According to Jacot, the most significant setback for having a team at Derby is finding a sponsor at the high school to make the team official. “It would be pretty nice to have a team at Derby,” Jacot said. “We have been trying to get one set up, but there have been a lot of complications to finding one.”
For now, Jacot will continue to participate in competitions to improve for the upcoming spring season, which includes going hunting in the fall.