Turlock Christian High trap shooters Ben Zheng and Ty Mendonca had remarkable fall seasons. Zheng finished with the highest score at the fall conference championship and finished the season with the highest male score in California. Mendonca finished with the fourth highest score at the championship and the third highest score in the state.
“It was a surprise. I didn’t know at first until my coach told me. It was really great finding out that I placed number one in the state,” said Zheng.
“It was really great to hear. I’m passionate about shooting and I work really hard so it was great to place that high,” said Mendonca
Both of these marksmen got started shooting at different points in their lives, but a common interest in firearms led them to the school team.
“I started last year when the school started a trap shooting team. I’ve always been interested in guns and I’ve never really been a person who was into physical activities. I’ve joined the team and I’ve enjoyed it ever since,” said Zheng.
“I got started five years ago on New Year’s Eve. I shot a browning and I really enjoyed it. I got started with the school team and it’s been a lot of fun,” said Mendonca
Both these two are grateful for the support their coaches and teammates provide, and it makes trap shooting an even more fun experience.
“My coach is great, he’s really nice and always willing to help people out. They put a lot of time and energy in preparing us for our trap meets.” said Zheng. “At first when I joined, it was about shooting guns, but now it’s about the community, the coaches, team and all the great people.
“I love my teammates; these are people you’ve known for a long time and everyone helps each other out. It’s been great being with these guys,” said Mendonca.
While these two athletes are impressive at their sport, that doesn’t mean they don’t have their difficulties and know there are areas that need improving.
“Every once in a while, everyone has a bad game or session. It’s all about telling yourself you could do better and going back and improving,” said Zheng.
Both Zheng and Mendonca are hoping to continue shooting after high school if they have the opportunity to do so.