Trap shooters look forward to competing this spring

Already a few weeks into their season, the clay target team is preparing to compete at the State tournament.


photo courtesy John Porisch

Although trap shooting is a predominantly male sport, more and more female athletes are starting to compete. BSM has two female shooters––senior Morgan Frank and junior Sarah Pucel––who are trying to recruit more girls to join the team.

Maria Van Hove, Staff Writer

One of America’s fastest growing high school sports has already kicked off the season this year with BSM’s very own clay target team. Also known as the trap team, the clay target squad has already completed their opening practice. Still rather new to BSM, the clay target team is only in its fourth season of operation. Fortunately, Minnesota is one out of twenty states with a high school clay target league.

Each Wednesday, the BSM team meets at Minnetonka Sportsman Club, where they get to practice by shooting two rounds. The team members express that they like being a part of the clay target team because it has a really flexible schedule. “You can show up anywhere from four to sundown and sign up with a group of five people to shoot your rounds. It’s relaxing and the perfect break from homework,” junior Leif Anderson said.

“It’s a nice drive through the Lake Minnetonka area, on a usually sunny day, allowing people to kick-back and enjoy the outdoors,” junior James Norkosky said.

Trap shooting is all about trying to hit as many clay targets as you can in a round of twenty-five clay targets. There are five stations all in a line; you shoot five times, and then you switch to the next station. A BSM clay target shooter must average a shooting record of seventeen clay targets or more. “I think that trap shooting is a competitive sport, but the nice thing about the sport is that it’s as competitive as you want it to be, so there are a variety of different shooters across the state,” senior captain Grant Gustafson said.

The team at BSM is composed of forty-four students, grades nine through twelve. Of those students, only two of them are girls. “It is really interesting being a part of a predominantly male club; Sarah [Pucel] and I have become pretty close,” senior Morgan Frank said. For the girls, they tend to stick together. “It hasn’t been easy trying to recruit more girls to join. I want more girls to join, but not everyone has their gun safety license, and it can be hard to get it done before the season starts,” Frank said.

You can do really well one week and terrible the next, so it is all about enjoying the good days and dealing with the bad. You have to stay mentally strong and focused each time you shoot

— James Norkosky

Besides being an escape from stress and fun with friends, clay target shooting is an activity that requires you to be mentally tough. “You can do really well one week and terrible the next, so it is all about enjoying the good days and dealing with the bad. You have to stay mentally strong and focused each time you shoot,” Norkosky said.

For some, getting shooting practice in through BSM’s team and outside practice is key in preparation for the June state tournament in Alexandria. Varsity shooters have to average eighteen or more targets hit out of twenty-five in order to qualify for the state tournament. The goal is to place as high as possible out of the 8,000 shooters that compete there each year. “I like to practice in the spring and fall, and I also hunt in the fall to try to keep improving my shot each year,” junior Sarah Pucel said.