Skip to main content

HS trap shooters take aim at state tournament as sport continues its rapid growth

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Several hundred of the best high school trap shooters in Minnesota competed in the second State Clay Target Tournament Saturday at the Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake.

Lakeville South High School beat out 30 other teams to win the team competition, while Fairmont High School's Bryan Grotte took first place in the individual competition out of a field of 100 competitors, Minnesota State High School Clay Target League says.

Minnesota is the first and only state high school athletic association in the country to recognize and support such a tournament, the league notes, where shooters fire shotguns at clay discs that are flung into the air by a machine (the discs resemble birds flying away, so trapshooting is often used by bird hunters to practice for hunting season.)

The league is co-ed and participants are required to obtain a state Firearm Safety Training Certificate, a news release notes.

The league has "exploded in growth" in just a few years, the Pioneer Press reports. From 2001 (when the league began) to 2008, there were just 30 athletes competing from three schools, the league's website notes, but by 2009 there were were 60 athletes from six schools, jumping to 1,715 athletes from 100 schools in 2012, and then 6,100 athletes from 275 schools last year.

This year there were 268 teams with 8,600 participants shooting at 165 gun ranges across the state, The Associated Press reports, and hundreds of interested athletes were turned away because of limited time and space at local ranges.

These participating numbers are comparable to those of other high school sports, the Pioneer Press notes, and now Minnesota's league, created by Jim Sable as a way to increase interest in the sport, is becoming a model for other leagues around the country – Sable has launched leagues in Wisconsin and North Dakota, while 30 other states have inquired about creating leagues of their own, the AP notes.

The Minnesota State High School Clay Target League may possibly become a "farm league" for Olympic hopefuls to hone their skills, the Pioneer Press says, noting last year, four shooters scored a perfect 100 out of 100.

Olympic shooting is the sixth most medal-winning sport in United States Olympic history, according to USA Shooting.

Next Up


What happens to the Vikings if Aaron Rodgers leaves the NFC North?

Rodgers said he isn't interested in rebuilding in Green Bay, is it time for the Vikings to pounce or stay the course?


Sheriff: Men found unresponsive in garage died of cocaine overdose

Two of the three men found unresponsive in an Eyota garage last week died of a drug overdose, a preliminary autopsy found.

Anthony Edwards

Ant's injury clouds Timberwolves' victory over the Nets

The Timberwolves star was injured in the final minutes on Sunday night.

Akoya Lee

Byron native Ayoka Lee sets NCAA record for points in a game

The Kansas State forward broke a record shared by former Gopher Rachel Banham.

cold, wind chill, freezing

It's going to be stupid cold again Tuesday and Wednesday

They'll almost certainly be the 10th and 11th days with subzero temps this month.

Williams Uptown Pub

Williams Uptown Pub & Peanut Bar closes indefinitely after shooting

Reports say police have arrested two suspects in the incident.

Alex Rodríguez

A-Rod wears a Packers hat, Minnesotans lose their minds

The Timberwolves co-owner didn't endear himself to his fan base on Saturday night.

Flickr - Minneapolis police squad - Chad Davis

Police: Man shoots into crowd at funeral reception in Minneapolis

The shooting happened at a reception following a funeral on Saturday afternoon.