Alex Amaral spent several years shooting for the Los Banos Tigers Youth Trap Team, even though he lived in Tulare. He once shot 200 straight at the AIM-ATA national championships in Sparta, Ill.
Now the 20-year-old college student is taking what he learned with the Los Banos team and is putting it into his own team in Tulare, the Central Valley Aces.
"Originally my plan when I started was that I would come back to coach, because I enjoy coaching," Amaral said. "It's not so much about what I can do, it's about what I can pass on. You can be the greatest shooter in the world, but when you're done, everything dies with you. So if you can pass it on, the legacy continues."
Amaral's 12 team members dropped in on the Los Banos Sportsmen's Association this month for a competition hosted by the Tigers, along with eight other youth trap teams from the California Youth Shooting Sports Association. The shoot attracted 213 competitors.
As a youth shooter, Amaral bounced around between a few clubs — from Tehachapi to Kingsburg to Bakersfield — before finding a home with the Tigers.
It was enough for him to get the feel of what a youth team should be like, and when his team convenes at the Tulare County Trap Club, he tries to capture the same environment.
"I'm trying to get them to that feeling of these are your brothers and sisters versus this is your teammate," Amaral said.
It helps to have the Los Banos coaching staff just a phone call away.
"We've been able to pass down what we've learned through that process to him to help get that club up and running," Los Banos Tigers president Joe Gann said. "We're a phone call away for anything Alex needs — help, resources, anything we can do. It's exciting to see."
Even with all that help, it may be a while before the Aces can compete with the Tigers — Los Banos won every class but rookie and took the top seven spots in the varsity standings, starting with Mark Barcellos, who nailed 99 of 100 targets.
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