ERHS trap-shooters placed 10th in state meet

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

The Elk River High School varsity trap-shooting team placed 10th among 91 teams at the state tournament on June 9, reports coach Denise Green.

Two sophomores led the five-member varsity as August Hillebregt tied for fifth place (97 of 100) and Dylan Church tied for sixth (96 of 100) in the Minnesota State Clay Target League shootout at Alexandria.

Other Elk varsity shooters were seniors Josh Larson and J.T. Blackstat and junior Andrew Peterson.

“We had a tough spring, shooting in all sorts of weather, and that Sunday it rained all day,” said Green. “Maybe all that crazy weather helped us.”

St.Michael-Albertville was the team champion with 483 of 500. The Elks’ score was 463. The individual champion was Brendan McCabe of Hastings, who won a playoff after six kids tied with 98. Top female was Emma Olson of STMA with 95.

The sport is growing rapidly, Green noted, from 13 schools in the first state meet in 2010, then 26, then 100, and this year 130. There are junior high, junior varsity and varsity levels. The state meet was held over three days, June 7-8-9, to accommodate the three levels.

“We had 49 kids in all, this year and we had to turn some away, interest is so high,” said Green, adding that the roster included 42 boys and seven girls.

Family support is vital, she said.

“Ever kid on the team had good family support. This is a sport where the family has to be involved. In most cases their mother and father are involved in shooting, too.”

Trap-shooting is a club activity and all coaching is volunteer. Green is assisted by Randy Doesken and Rob Olson. Their home course is Elk River Sportsman’s Club, whose members also assist the team.

The league’s web site is Next spring the Minnesota State High School League will co-sponsor