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Left to right: Woody Glazer, Ida Brown, Brad Lehman. (Brandon Korhonen | Courtesy)

Hillsdale College’s five-time Division III National Champion shotgun team wel­comed three new freshmen  for the 2019 – 2020 season.  

Freshmen Ida Brown, Woody Glazer, and Brad Lehman, will be making their debut, each bringing unique strengths to the team. 

Brown, a native Cal­i­fornian, started shooting with her brother in fifth grade year as a way to to learn gun safety and par­tic­ipate in a sport together. It took her some time before she hit her stride.

“My gun jammed all the time in skeet and sporting clays,” Brown said. Her semi-auto­matic TriStar cost her many targets in her initial tour­na­ments. 

“I was really bad at shooting. For the first 600 rounds I don’t think I hit a single target,” Brown admitted. “And for my first two years I didn’t hit a 25 straight in trap.” 

As Brown spent more time prac­ticing with a nearby high school team, she even­tually encoun­tered world champion American Skeet shooter Todd Bender, and sub­se­quently took several clinics with him. At these clinics, Bender helped her overcome her dif­fi­culty of being a left eye dom­inant shooter with right shooting arm. Nor­mally a shooter’s dom­inant eye matches their shooting arm.   

“He’s my favorite coach because he helped me develop a lot of dif­ferent tech­niques to make skeet easier for me,” Brown said. “He’s the reason I shoot with both eyes open for skeet.” 

Her skeet training resulted in great improvement, and as a freshman on the high school team, she placed third at the Cal­i­fornia Skeet State Cham­pi­onships and third at the National Cham­pi­onships for skeet.  

Lehman began learning shotgun safety at a young age through hunting in South Car­olina. He even­tually joined a high school team in seventh grade with some help from his friends. He started prac­ticing sporting clays, his best dis­ci­pline.   

“Shooting is a whole lot easier when you have friends doing it with you,” Lehman said. “I’d want to go to practice to see them no matter how poorly I shot.” 

Lehman said  favorite coach, Steve Bolt, was the first one who saw potential in him. He credited  Bolt for teaching him all the basics of com­pet­itive shotgun shooting and helping get him to the level he is today.  

Lehman esti­mated that on average he would shoot six to eight hours a week during the school year and even more in the summers. This rig­orous schedule helped prepare him for larger tour­na­ments such as state cham­pi­onships and southeast regional tour­na­ments, where he won the junior division and two sub-junior tour­na­ments. 

“This season I’m most excited for Nationals in Texas, espe­cially because I get to compete against friends on the Clemson team,” Lehman said. “I feel that all the members of the team with the addition of the three new freshman gives us another chance at a National Cham­pi­onship which would be really exciting to win my first year on the team.” 

The cat­alyst for Glazer’s shooting career was shooting hand thrown clays in his backyard with his dad as a young boy. In eighth grade, he left the backyard and joined up with a nearby high school trap team to hone his skills. 

Glazer’s high school coach, Paul Dietz, had a unique approach to shooting that made a sig­nif­icant impact on Glazer.  

“He gave me an outlook on shooting that a lot of coaches don’t do,” Glazer said. “He gave me a logical approach rather than a super­sti­tious approach which helped me to be a more adaptive shooter.”  

Though Glazer had many suc­cesses as an indi­vidual shooter in high school, he said he was most proud of being one of the 2016 team Min­nesota state cham­pions and on a 2019 state champion team.  

Getting to know the team is one of Glazer’s top pri­or­ities for his freshman season.  He also hopes to be on the squad that wins another national title.  

“It may be a little opti­mistic, but we have a really good chance,” Glazer said.