Hannibal-LaGrange University Athletic Director Jason Nichols has announced the launching of the school's 16th and newest club program, collegiate co-ed clay target shooting.

Hannibal-LaGrange University Athletic Director Jason Nichols has announced the launching of the school's 16th and newest club program, collegiate co-ed clay target shooting.

The program will field its first team in the 2016-17 academic year with the recruiting of student-athletes to begin immediately to field a competitive team beginning next fall. Scholarships will be awarded on a combination of both skill level and experience. The program will be a scholarship intercollegiate sport falling under the direction of the athletic department.

“We’re very excited about the opportunity to have a shooting sport here at Hannibal-LaGrange University,” said HLGU President Dr. Anthony Allen. “Our board of trustees unanimously approved to move forward with this and we look forward in anticipation to hiring a shooting coach as well as recruiting and fielding a team for competition next fall.”

The University has been studying the popularity of the sport and watching it grow in recent years. Because competitive shooting is a sport in which many can participate, this program seeks to further increase public awareness of shooting sports and firearm safety for youth among both males and females.

HLGU has received a grant to help offset start-up costs of the program. Three different organizations have helped HLGU develop this new program: ACUI (Association of College Unions International), NSSF (National Shooting Sports Foundation), and the Midway USA Foundation.

Nichols cited both the quality and quantity of the students in the community and region as major factors for launching the program. "I am convinced that we will be able to obtain quality student-athletes from the surrounding region. Hunting and recreational firearm use is prevalent in the Midwest, and now HLGU offers a scholarship opportunity for students to continue shooting competitively while they pursue a degree.”

HLGU students participating in the sport will be taught by an NRA certified coach and volunteers in sporting clays, skeet, trap, and five stand, always with safety being the utmost concern. Practices will be held once a week and the team will compete in four tournaments over the 2016-2017 school year – one local, two conference, and one national.

Any coach that is interested in this full-time position can apply online at hlg.edu. Preference will be given to candidates who: 1) live a faith centered lifestyle; 2) can communicate the skills of the sport; 3) have coaching experience; and 4) have the ability to recruit the student/athletes needed to fill out the program's roster.

For more information on the new program, contact Nichols at 573-629-3211, or via email at jnichols@hlg.edu.