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This young miss seldom misses

Larry Woody • Nov 26, 2016 at 1:30 PM

Alex Franck is the Annie Oakley of Watertown High.

The 16-year-old junior is a member of the Cedar City Straights, Wilson County's interscholastic trap-shooting team, and a regular competitor at the Cedar City Gun Club. Alex frequently leads the Ladies division in the club's weekly shoot, and recently topped all competitors in the overall competition for the second time in her career.

What's the reaction when she out-shoots the guys?

"They laugh and joke about it," Alex says. "They're all good sports."

Alex became interested in shooting when she started going hunting with her dad.

"When I was a little girl we hunted rabbits, quail, deer," she says. "I enjoyed it, and when I was old enough I started shooting competitively."

A few years ago the Cedar City Straights team was founded by Ben Schade, and Alex was among the youngsters across Wilson County who were attracted to the team.

"Coach Bennie knew me from the Gun Club and invited me to try out for the team," Alex says.

Alex is one of three girls on the Straights team. Schade said girls are often faster learners than boys in competitive shooting because they start with no pre-conceived notions about how to shoot properly, which makes them more open to adopting proper techniques and procedures.

A couple of years ago Schade moved away, and the Straights coaching duties were assumed by Kerry Hale.

"Alex is a true competitor, with a compassionate heart," Hale says. "She will always offer to help other shooters with what she has learned. She has made tremendous progress in the short time she has been in the sport, and I look forward to seeing her advance even further."

Alex' dad Paul supports his daughter's competitive shooting and says she is in good hands with her instructors.

"The coaches have done great with her," he says. "Alex loves it. She's very dedicated and very determined."

Alex says she was attracted to competitive shooting for a number of reasons.

"I enjoy the competition," she says, "and I also enjoy being around the other shooters. They are such nice people, and always show good sportsmanship."

Alex is the only member of the Cedar Straights at Watertown High. She says fellow students and teachers follow media reports of her competitive shooting, and compliment her on her success.

Alex plans a career as a veterinarian, and is checking out potential colleges, including Lincoln Memorial University.

More and more universities are fielding competitive shooting teams, compete with scholarships, to qualified shooters. Alex says she would entertain an offer.

"I would consider it if the opportunity came along," she says.

That's in the future, of course. She still has another year of high school ahead of her before she has to make those decisions. But it's safe to say she'll be a success in whatever course she chooses. When Alex sets her sights on a target, she seldom misses.

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