Sjoberg sister shooting

Behind the two Oakmont students who participate in a shared love of competitive clay pigeon shooting


Brad Sjoberg

Emily Sjoberg (left) and Sarah Sjoberg (right) in Montana during the Western Regional shoot in April.

Lily Harrison, News Editor

When people say the word “sports,” most minds go to soccer, football, baseball, or even cross country running. For the Sjoberg sisters, it’s been competitive clay pigeon shooting since they were young.

The sport of competitive clay pigeon shooting consists of three different main disciplines. These disciplines are known as trap shooting, skeet shooting, and sporting clays.

Each entails different forms of shooting. Trap being a clay pigeon released from a spring trap at unpredictable angles, skeet being two clay pigeons shot at crossing angles, and sporting clays being described by Emily Sjoberg as “golf with a shotgun” where clay pigeons are shot in different positions to mimic a sort of hunting experience for those shooting.

“We’ve been shooting all of our lives,” older sister Sarah Sjoberg said. “We shoot together all the time just because it’s easier for us and we’re able to help each other. If we’re struggling, we’re able to help each other get better.”

Both sisters talked about how they had been shooting together since they were young. Each explained that Sarah had been the first to begin clay pigeon shooting and Emily followed in her suit.

“She started shooting Trap when she was in sixth grade,” Emily said. “We are two years apart so when she was in seventh grade I started in fifth grade.” 

Sarah stated that while her family does hunt, it was actually a family friend that brought her into the world of competitive clay shooting. She described that she saw him doing it and decided that she wanted to try it too.

“It was one of our good family friends,” Sarah said. “He had been doing it for a couple of years so I was like ‘let’s try it.’ I’ve been hooked ever since.”

From there on, the two competed together in most shoots, helping push one another to work harder and do better when it came to their sport. 

While both are placed in different divisions when it comes to competitions, Emily talked about the healthy competitiveness that comes with sharing a sport with her sister.

“We get very competitive, it’s just like we have a little silent competition,” Emily said. “It’s not like we’re trying to be super competitive, it’s just like ‘oh yeah. I beat her in this event.’” 

Just a few weeks ago, the Sjoberg Sisters and their parents went to a well known and advanced competition in Montana, where they were hoping to place within the different events of their skill sets.

The competition is known as the Montana Western Challenge, and the sisters came out successful within most disciplines they competed in.

“It’s called Five Stand,” Emily said. “That’s the one I won first place for, and then I won a couple second and third places for other events.”  

Both sisters shared an overall sense of victory with this competition.

“I placed third in the main event and for the lady division,” Sarah said.

The two spoke highly of the Montana competition, talking about how their usual shooting scene was local, yet getting out of the area to shoot in a new scenery was nice. The fact that both managed to place promoted an overall air of positivity surrounding the competition and any future ones to come for the sisters.

While the recent competition was a definite success for the Sjoberg sisters, much awaits the two in their future of competitive clay shooting.

“I don’t think either of us would want to stop shooting anywhere in the near future,” Emily said. “Just because we are getting to the point where we are gaining a lot of skills, we’re moving up, and we’re getting a lot better.”