Dillon Tosh’s Trapshooting Success

by | Apr 2023

MANCHESTER’S VERY own trapshooter, Dillon Tosh, is nothing short of a childhood prodigy. He began his career at 11 years old on a local school’s trapshooting team, yet it was only the beginning of his incredible path to success. This past summer, he made history when he became the youngest inductee ever into the Tennessee Trapshooting Hall of Fame at just 23 years old. He became the youngest to win the World Doubles Championship at 15 and then again at 20. 

Trapshooting is a specialized form of clay target shooting that dates back to the 1800s and requires precision, agility, and split-second timing. Shooters must be able to aim, fire, and break a 4 1/4-inch disc flying at 42 mph — an action replicating the flight path of a bird fleeing from a hunter. 

The history of Manchester associated with trapshooting stems from its high achievement in this sport. It all began when local community members collaborated to build trap fields that eventually became home to numerous successful trapshooting teams in the area. 

Tosh’s middle school coach, Marty Smith, said, “It’s challenging, and kids pick it up quickly these days. They’ve got hand-eye coordination that older people don’t have.” 

Smith coached Tosh while he attended Westwood Middle School, and Tosh later shot with Coffee County Claybusters. He is the youngest of three children, with a sister, Kendra Fox, who is 13 years older, and a brother, AJ Tosh, who is nine years older. 

Dillon’s mother, Charlene, said Smith positively impacted Dillon’s life and that they are proud of who Dillon has become. 

“Dillon has always been competitive in everything he does. He pushes himself harder than anyone else does. We feel blessed to have watched him grow into the young man he is today, and we are so proud of his accomplishments in trapshooting.” 

Dillon has been part of three All-American teams and numerous Tennessee All-State and All-American teams.

To qualify for All-American teams, shooters must compete in four states, winning championships or events at state and national levels. The top 10 individuals with the most points nationwide make the team. These teams then compete in the world championship in Illinois, shooting 300 rounds per day for 10 days. 

Smith said, “It’s just like being selected for the Super Bowl, so you have to be really good to make the team. He (Dillon) has been on the team three times.”

People come from all over the world to compete in and watch the world championships sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources. The property contains 120 trap fields lined three miles long, permanent vendor, manufacturer, and sporting goods buildings, and 1100 campsites. They also have water tower facilities and beautiful lakes for tourists to fish in. 

Smith said, “It’s like a little city of its own.” 

Dillon shot his first perfect 100 in his second year of trapshooting when he was 12 years old, and Smith said it has been “uphill from there.” 

Smith said, “He loves the sport. He’d be out there all day long after practice. We’d have practices twice a week, and we took 200 to 300 rounds every time he’d come. He was just dedicated.”

Smith described the trapshooter as “competitive” and said Dillon gets his competitive nature from his grandfather, Vietnam veteran Houston Tosh, who shot for the U.S. Military. 

Smith said Dillon was always determined to learn and grow in the sport and spent much time traveling nationwide to compete. 

After Dillon won his first world championship, Caesar Guerini, a high-end Italian shotgun manufacturing company, sponsored and included him in their pro staff. They provided him with gear and presented him with a $15,000 shotgun to use to compete, something once unheard of before Dillon accomplished it at such a young age. 

Dillon was born and raised in Coffee County, a place with the people and resources to help him reach new heights. Dillon’s accomplishments were made possible through the Academic Integrity and Marksmanship (AIM) program, which develops young Tennessee trapshooters, and his parents’ unwavering financial and physical support. Jonathan and Charlene Tosh took countless trips to Illinois to show their support and watch him shoot. 

Charlene said, “Dillon was almost like a second family for my husband and me, as his brother and sister were on their own when he was old enough to start shooting trap, so it gave us the opportunity to travel with him.” 

Dillon is an example for aspiring young trapshooters showing them what they can achieve if they stay focused, motivated, and humbled. GN 

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