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Photo contributed by Larry Case / From left, Makayla Scott watches as new shooters Jack Chapman and Keyton Strader burn some powder at the Field of Dreams facility in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

I haven't talked to you about Makayla Scott for a while. You may remember she is the young lady who rose up from the 4-H clay shooting program in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, near a town called White Sulphur Springs.

Makayla started shooting shotgun in 4-H a few years ago, one thing led to another and next thing you know, she became quite a sensation in the scattergun world.

OK, since you asked, just a little history on this shotgun shooting dynamo. Makayla had a less than advantageous start in life and was being bumped around the foster care system when she was found by Telford Scott and adopted into his family. Makayla (now a ripe old 19 years of age) may have had a rough start in life, but some years ago through the love and encouragement of her new family — and the 4-H shooting program — she picked up a shotgun, started shooting competitively and has never looked back.

Being serious about competing in the shotgun world meant a lot of hard work and sacrifices, for both Makayla and the rest of the Scott family. Lots of travel to shooting events in other states means long road trips, motels and bad diner food. Once at the event, to effectively compete the shooter must shrug all this off and make it count when standing up there burning powder. This means that when the shotgun goes bang, targets have to break.

Makayla did it, her family did it and the list of accomplishments is impressive.

When Makayla won the Perazzi Grand Prix bronze in junior class in 2018, she was just getting started. The following year, she made North Carolina's all-state team (West Virginia didn't have a Scholastic Clay Target Program team yet), shot on the fourth-place team at 4-H Nationals in Grand Island, Nebraska, was fourth individually and a doubles skeet champion at SCTP Nationals, and became the first lady shooter from West Virginia to ever qualify for the U.S. Junior Olympic trap team.

This list of accomplishments could go on, but in truth, I am too lazy to keep typing them.

One more, though: in October 2019, Makayla earned a spot as one of four young shooters who combined with Dave Miller of CZ-USA to set a Guinness World Record for the most clays broken by a five-person team in 12 hours! Five shooters shot almost continuously for half a day, 14,167 targets were broken, and I do not expect that number to be topped any time soon.

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Photo contributed by Larry Case / Natalee Simms is shown at Field of Dreams sport shooting facility in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

Makayla had established herself as a force to be reckoned with on the competitive shotgun trail, but that was not enough. She had another idea brewing in that brain of hers.

She imagined what it could be like if she had a shotgun range in her own backyard. Not just one range, mind you, but a shotgun shooting facility with all the trimmings: a place to shoot trap, skeet, sporting clays five stand, even that wild European game bunker trap. She had the space — all she had to do was put together a few little details like some bulldozer work, pouring concrete and building trap houses for the skeet range, laying out and putting in the various shooting stations, and acquiring the target throwers needed.

Little things like that.

Makayla wasted no time in reaching out to some of her sponsors such as CZ-USA and well-known clay target thrower manufacturer MEC Outdoors. They soon joined in to make this happen, and Makayla also reached out to some local businesses and got help from Green Acres Excavating, Lynch Construction and Neathawk Lumber. Local shotgun coaches Joe Hayes, Curtis Kincaid, Joe Windon and Makayla's dad Telford all put in long hours helping to make this shooting range a reality.

With all that she had been through personally and what this shooting range could mean to new shooters by being exposed to shotgun sports, Makayla knew she could give the site only one name: Field of Dreams. The most recent addition to this facility is a very nice clubhouse with a kitchen, restroom, storage for guns and ammo, plus a counter for registering shooters for matches.

As the physical site became a reality, Makayla put phase two of her dream for this place into action. Even though she was proud of competing well for North Carolina, she knew she had to find a way to take a team from her home state to the SCTP Nationals. So the first SCTP chapter in West Virginia was born — the Mountaineer Clay Crushers! They currently have about 25 members.

Recently I was present at the Field of Dreams and watched as young shooters Jack Chapman, Natalee Simms and Keyton Strader banged away, breaking clays. You couldn't help seeing that even as young as Makayla is, she is bringing along a new crew of shooters. This girl is a smiling ambassador for youth shooting sports on one hand and a set of hot shotgun barrels on the other.

We will be hearing much, much more from Makayla Scott.

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Contributed photo / Larry Case

"Guns & Cornbread" is written by Larry Case, who lives in Fayette County, W.Va. You can write to him at larryocase3@gmail.com.

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