Kelan Kinion signing

Silex High School senior trapshooter Kelan Kinion signed a letter of intent to join Lindenwood University Shooting Sports on Dec. 18. Kinion is the first member of the Silex FFA trap team to sign collegiately. Top row, from left to right, Silex High School Principal Chris Gray, Sean O’Brien, Silex FFA trap team coach and Mike Elam, Lindenwood Shooting Sports coach. Bottom row, Kelan Kinion, center, is flanked by his mother Jill Kinion, left, and his father, Kurt Kinion, right.

Kelan Kinion will be taking his trapshooting talents to one of the nation’s best programs.

The Silex High School senior signed a letter of intent on Dec. 18 to spend the next four years down the road in St. Charles at Lindenwood University. 

“The campus is close to home, and shooting is what I love to do,” Kinion said.

Kinion, a member of the six-time defending state champion Silex FFA trap team, won the 2018 Grand American Handicap ATA world championship, becoming the second-youngest winner in the 120-year history of the Amateur Trapshooting Association and the first Missourian to win the event since 1911.

Kinion also became the youngest to ever win the event with a perfect 100X100 score. Lindenwood Shotgun Sports coach Mike Elam is more than happy such an accomplished shooter wanted to come to his team, and believes the signing will create a local pipeline to a program that has won 15 NCAA Division-I national titles, and has shooters coming into the program nationally – and internationally.

“(Kinion) came to us (about joining our program), so we’re fortunate to have him,” Elam said. “This sport has proliferated greatly over the years, and we’re happy to have a good kid with us who’s from the local area.”

Sean O’Brien, Kinion’s coach, agrees with Elam’s sentiment. He has also seen how the sport has grown by leaps and bounds, and since his program at Silex has produced its first collegiate shooter, the possibilities could be endless.

“(The underclassmen) now see what’s possible,” O’Brien said. “After seeing what Kelan has done, our younger kids now know what the future could hold for them.”

As for Kinion’s future, he is undecided on a major at Lindenwood, but said he is leaning toward studying business. Regardless, he was soaking in the reality he will be continuing to do what he loves at the college level.

“It’s great honestly,” Kinion said. “Doing something you love – and getting to go to school to do it.

“What more can you ask for?”