Lining up each shot, tracing the clay as it sails through the air, pulling the trigger and watching the spray of the target as it is hit.

With 15,000 registered American Trap Association targets shot in 2016, this routine, the practiced shot and the enduring passion has finally paid off for Hunter Morton, a 14-year-old freshman at Summertown High School.

Competing against kids in the Sub Jr. — 13-15 year old — category, and taking on the nation’s best, Morton has earned his spot on the 2017 ATA All-American team.

“It just means that all the hard work I’ve put in has paid off this year,” Morton said. “We’ve been out here shooting rounds and rounds through the gun, practicing every little detail, I just think that putting in all the hard work paid off.”

Finishing with 1,011 points against kids in his bracket from across the country, as he competed in nine states, Morton finished 17th overall. Only four years into perfecting his craft in trap shooting, Morton has taken in each experience and reveled in rising to each challenge as they have come along.

“Whenever you go all around the United States, shooting against all the other All-Americans, you know you’re shooting against the best of the best,” Morton said. “I think you just have to really practice hard because you know they’re going to be on their game, so you’ve got to be on it too.”

With each tournament and each trip, a new experience and a new opportunity to grow has continually offered an opportunity for Morton as he has made the rounds with his family finding support…

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