Oh, shoot

Senior clay shooter sets sights on 2024 Olympics


Courtesy of Sidney Coffini

Senior Sidney Coffin represents Team USA as she competes in bunker trap shooting.

Emma Siebold, Managing Editor

Underestimation is motivation. 

These words ring through Sidney Coffin’s brain as she stares down the barrel of her 12-gauge Zoli Bella shotgun. In front of her, the bunker trap house holds 15 fixed targets, three for each of the five stations. 

She moves from station to station, where three targets fly from each trap house.

She has no idea where they will go. But she hits them anyway. 

Coffin fell in love with shooting five years ago, and she’s since participated with Team USA. 

“My grandpa was a competitive shotgun shooter, back in the old, old days,” Coffin said. “And he was also in the Air Force. Having a family member be a part of any branch of the military was a big deal for me. I’ve always just loved America, not just because of who was president or what’s going on, it’s just a great country to live in.”

Coffin practices at least three times a week at Hill Country Shooting Sports in Kerrville, “no matter the weather,” with a driving determination and love for representing her country. 

“I started competing for Team USA side about three years ago,” Coffin said. “I made it my first competition, trying out for it at the Olympic qualifiers. It’s a great community, great people.”

Sidney is not afraid of hard work and going the extra mile in order to gain an edge on her competitors

— coach Caitlin Connor

Coffin went to the Junior World Championships in Peru in October, placing 10th in the world. She then went to nationals in Tucson, Ariz., placing seventh there. Now, her sights are set on the Olympics. 

“You have to get two quotas for two people to go to the Olympics,” Coffin said. “Team USA needs quotas two years in a row in order to send athletes. So If I make the team, I go and get quotas in order to compete at the Olympics.”

On Jan. 10-16, Sidney competed at the Winter selection match. She placed sixth, and now she will compete to make the junior Team USA in March, traveling to Germany, Cyprus, Morocco and Egypt. 

“We definitely attribute her success to her drive, motivation and goals she sets for herself,” Cliff Coffin, Sidney’s father, said. “She does not waste thoughts on just “wanting” a goal, but rather continuously reviews and revises her training to stay on path for the goal.”

Competitive shotgun shooting can be a “dog eat dog” world, and Sidney’s coaches describe her as having a positive and determined attitude. 

“She has a competitive drive and cares about her performance,” said Caitlin Connor, one of Sidney’s coaches. “Sidney is not afraid of hard work and going the extra mile in order to gain an edge on her competitors.”