ASHE COUNTY — The 2015 trapshooting season is in the books for Ashe County native Noah Gouge, but it was definitely a year to remember.
The American Trapshooting Association (ATA) All-American teams were released earlier this month and sure enough, the Ashe County High School student saw his name on the list among the 25 best junior shooters in the entire nation.
Gouge, who qualified on the second team All-American squad, is the only junior shooter on the list from anywhere in the Southeast and is the only shooter from North Carolina in any of the classifications.
The accolades and accomplishments from this year are something to be very proud of, but before the season even started, Noah set the goal of being an All-American shooter and he did just that.
“I owe my success to the hard work and practice time I put in and the good help and advice I got from coaches,” said Gouge. “Next year, I want to be a first team All-American.”
Gouge competed in several events throughout the spring, summer and fall including five state shoots in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and New York, the Southern Zone Shoot and the 2015 Grand American World Trapshooting Championships.
“I think the best part of the year was winning the North Carolina state shoot with the highest overall score,” said Gouge.
The N.C. shoot was the first High Overall Championship for Gouge as he hit a total of 1,237 targets out of 1,300. During this event, Noah also had his first ever 100 straight in doubles, another highlight of his season. Gouge became the first North Carolina Junior to ever hit 100 straight registered targets in doubles.
In the Georgia state shoot, Noah was the Class A doubles champ and the non-resident junior singles champ.
The South Carolina shoot saw Noah win four doubles championships, three singles championships and two handicap championships. All in all, Gouge was the non-resident highest all-around champion, another first for Noah’s trophy case.
Noah was also the high all around and high overall junior champion in Virginia and the non-resident high over all and junior high all around non-resident champion in the New York shoot.
While the shooting competition season may be over, the practice and hard work will continue for Gouge.
Along those same lines, Noah is helping spearhead a movement in the county to support and promote shooting sports in the Ashe County school system.
“I would really like to see shotgun sports in Ashe County grow to be as large as other sports like football, soccer and basketball,” said Gouge.
According to Noah’s father, Scott Gouge, the interest is there in the county to have such a program in the school system.
Noah would like to thank the several sponsors that helped this season be a huge success: Big Springs Tree Farms, Goss Family Tree Farm, Fishel Organic Farm and Virginia-Carolina Concrete.
For up-to-date information on Noah’s future shooting dates and results, visit his website at www.gougetrapshooting.com or check him out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/noahgougetrapshooting .
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87