Trap Shooting: A Popular Sport Deals With Growth

June 14, 2018 06:19 PM

One of the fastest-growing high school sports is an activity you may not expect.

It's trap shooting - a competition that tests participants' skills shooting at clay targets.


And the 2018 Trap Shooting Championship in Alexandria - at which teams qualify for the state tournament scheduled for June 20 at
the Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake - is the world's largest trap shooting event of its kind.

RELATED: Big Lake Trap Shooting Team Photo Will Be Included in Yearbook After All

Katelynn Nordine, 14, has been on the Lake of the Woods trap shooting team for two years. 

"I really enjoy it and the coaches are really helpful and fun," she said.

It's a sport that tests hand-eye coordination. 

"Just standing back here and watching is kind of cool," Nordin'e father said.

It's a sport in which Nordine can compete alongside her male counterparts.

"It's a really great opportunity, because it's a lifelong skill," said Ben Zipoy, who is wrapping up his high school career in Kimball.

"You can do it when you are 70 years old, and when you are seven years old, which makes it really unique."

Over the last eight years, the trap shooting event in Alexandria has grown from roughly 800 students to 8,000.

And John Nelson, the Vice President of the Minnesota State Clay Target League, said safety is key.

"We put 42,000 kids through this league," he said. "We've pulled the trigger 35 million times and have never had a reported injury."

But growth can be a prickly issue.

"If this sport is going to thrive and grow there needs to be more capacity," St. Cloud Apollo head coach Bryan Brophy said.

Brophy's family owns 71 acres of land off Interstate 94 and Highway 23 in St. Joseph Township. He hopes to build a shooting range there for students.   

"In (the) St. Cloud area, we have six schools that could potentially use this range," he said. "And if all six used it at this time, we're talking 250-300 kids. But that number is going to continue to grow."

It's the new high school fight over facilities.

"When it comes to hockey and basketball and those sports with gym time and ice, I think the community wants to try to give those kids a good space for those activities," he said. "They see a benefit in that. I see a benefit in the same way with this."

Brophy is putting up $25,000 dollars of his own money for the shooting range. The state's Department of Natural Resources is matching that with an additional $25,000.

But neighbors living near the property have voiced concerns over noise, traffic and lead. The proposed range goes before the Stearns County board in the next few weeks for a possible decision.


Jessica Miles

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