Seven Northland Teams Participating in Minnesota State High School Clay Target League This Spring
The Hermantown Trap Shooting Team is one of seven clay target teams in the area competing in the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League this spring. 62 Hawks are competing as part of 11,790 student-athletes across 400 high schools in the state.
PROCTOR, Minn. – The Hermantown Trap Shooting Team is one of seven clay target teams in the area competing in the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League this spring. 62 Hawks are competing as part of 11,790 student-athletes across 400 high schools in the state.
“It’s one of the most popular, fastest growing sports in Minnesota. Anybody can participate and the thing is, there’s no benchwarmers here. Everyone that signs up, shoots. Everybody that shoots, scores and every score from everybody shooting goes collectively for our team. We call it the great equalizer because it doesn’t matter who you are, you can shoot. Men women alike, we don’t care. Doesn’t matter if you’re an athlete or not, everybody performs and everybody has a good time,” assistant coach Michael Scott said.
Many of these athletes joined with no prior experience.
“My dad came home one day and asked me if I wanted to join a clinic and I said that would be pretty cool and then here I am, I’m on the team,” sophomore Aislyn Hall said.
“I just heard an announcement over the loud speaker at school so went home and asked my dad what’s trap shooting and he said you should try it out. I was hunting and stuff but I had never shot clay pigeons before ever, I had never even seen one fly in the air. I shot a 0 out of 50 my first time I shot. I hated it I was so bad. Once you start going for a while, it just sort of clicks and then you’ll be shooting one time and all of a sudden be like oh this is what I’m supposed to do and your scores will jump like crazy,” senior Dylan Mesojedec added.
“We take them from knowing nothing to watching them shoot one or two birds the first couple of times, to after a couple of years they’re hitting birds in the 20s and they are so excited,” coach Scott said.
Whether you’re a new shooter or experienced, the league welcomes all with males and females shooting side by side.
“Shooting with the guys is nothing for me, they’ve kind of adopted me and took me in. I know pretty much all of the guys, I’m friends with them. they take me in, have me shoot with them,” Hall said.
While the athletes shoot for scores for a chance to go to state in June, the athletes say they just enjoy the friendships and memories the sport has helped create.
“Just being able to shoot with my friends, be able to hang out with them. Just the family aspect of it,” Mesojedec said.
“Growing as a better shooter and shooting with my sister excites me a lot. I like to see her grow. Me and my dad go out and shoot, my grandpa’s super into it to like we have our own clay thrower at our shack and we go out there and hit the birds. You come out and just kind of forget about everything else and you’re in the zone. It calms my nerves to know I’m shooting with people I know and that I’m friends with,” Hall added.