My profession has its perks, that’s for sure

One of the things that makes me like my job so much is the interesting and unusual things I get to do on occasion in my line of work.

I have covered football games from sidelines and press boxes from Fayette County to the other side of Birmingham to down south of Tuscaloosa.

I have been in a media boat on Pickwick Lake, which is part of the Tennessee River, in Florence. If you have never done 60 mph on a bass fishing boat on the wakes of 100-200 boats at 6 a.m. on a cool summer morning, then I cannot adequately describe the experience to you.

I have covered most of the high school/college sports you can think of, and I have travelled with teams across state lines. I have covered championships, regionals and state tournaments.

What I was able to do Tuesday night has been added to my list of unusual but awesome things that only happened due to my job.

I went to cover Cedar Hill Trap Shooting Range. Wade Willingham, one of the two main proprietors of the establishment, told me that he had several teams that won accolades at a state competition.

That was more than enough to get me out there Tuesday night. I joked around with my boss that it sure would be fun if they handed me a shotgun and let me shoot at some clay targets.

Such things have a funny way of coming true in my line of work.

Everyone there was really nice and I got what I needed to write a good story, which will run at a later date. That was when Willingham asked me if I wanted to take a shot (literally) at the course.

I would have been crazy to turn down such an opportunity, having never even fired a shotgun before. James C. King, the other main proprietor of Cedar Hill, was kind enough to instruct me through my 25 shots at flying clay targets.

I hit 11 out of 25 in my first-ever trap-shooting attempt. The course average for a brand new shooter? Six out of 25. Bring it on world.


J.R. Tidwell is sports editor for The Franklin County Times. He can be reached at (256) 332-1881, ext. 31.