Spartan Club: Trapshooting

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club that not many people talk about around school is the trapshooting team. It might be considered a club, but it’s way more than that: a group of guys and girls who get together every Monday and Thursday for practice and have meets all day on Saturdays. For those of you who don’t know how trap works here’s a simplified explanation. There are five shooters in a group, they each shoot five shoots in five different spots, and the scores are however many clays they hit out of 25 clays. They shoot 25 shots in one round because one box equals 25 shots. They also have something called handicaps, which is where the shooters do the same thing just from a further distance from 18 – 27 feet.

State trapshooting was on May 4 through the 6th in Doniphan, Nebraska at Cornhusker State Trap Shoot. There are about 50 East and Lux kids that can go to state trap.

Even though trapshooting is only a club, the coaches spend roughly 12-15 hours a week, only including three days of practice, working with kids on their shooting, and all day at the meet on Saturday.

The trapshooting club at East was started 6 years ago. The three coaches are Dan Smith, Matt Reidman, and JR Sanders. They started the club with only 17 kids and now they have expanded up to 50 kids from East and Lux. The shooters have six meets in their season, two in Ashland, two at Lincoln Trap and Skeet, and two at Izaak Walton. For shooters to make it to conference, they need to be in five of the six meets. For state trap, anyone who wants to go can go and participate. The Cornhusker State Trap event is the largest trap meet with roughly 2,800 kids going.

The coaches have a big job when it comes to making sure that their club has everything that they need for practices and meets. They make sure the ranges are open and ready to go. Coaches try to keep the kids moving while they’re out there. The biggest job that they have is probably making sure that everyone is staying safe. They keep an eye on where everyone’s gun is pointed, make sure that everyone is where they’re supposed to be and pay attention. The coaches decided to become coaches in trapshooting because they enjoyed the sport, they loved seeing the smiles on the kids faces, and they enjoyed mentoring kids in highschool and middle school. Some advice they give their shooters when they are struggling is, “go back to the basics,” “stay calm and relaxed,” and “don’t get down on yourself.”

Only about 10% to 15% of the kids that actually shoot have been taught by different family members, but most of them decided that they wanted to trap on their own. Their first practice was the first time they have shot a gun. That was the case for senior shooter, Julian Lowe who started shooting his freshman year. Lowe is his own biggest challenge when it comes to shooting, “I need to be in the right mindset. Also, it depends on how I’m feeling that day [because it] affects how I do in either practice or meets.”  He puts about six to seven hours into shooting per week. “The best weather for me to shoot in would have to be 75 degrees, sunny, with a slight wind.” His mom was the reason why he went out for trapshooting. She thought it would be something fun for him to try so he decided to go out. “The environment is that everyone gets along very well and we are all very connected.”

Junior shooter Josh Gaspar decided to join trapshooting because his mom wanted him to join a club or sport. He chose trap because his grandfather gave him a gun and he wanted to try something new. “I try to practice at least an hour a day to improve my shooting ability.” The environment at trap is that everyone there has the same hobby and they’re all friends and get along. “My perfect weather is absolutely zero wind and I want it to be decently warm outside.”

This season due to bad weather they had one of the six meets cancelled. The trapshooting team had Conference on Saturday, April 28th, at Lincoln Trap and Skeet and all of the shooters on the East and Lux trapshooting team [roughly 50 shooters] will be attending State Trap this year.